NAIDOC Week Event to celebrate success of Mt Barker Rangers
In the middle of NAIDOC Week, an event will today honour the hard work of the Mt Barker Noongar Rangers who have restored land by planting native seeds.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Heal Country, a message which calls on everyone to protect the lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage of First Nations people.
Through their work, the Mt Barker Noongar Rangers have done just that. Working in multiple areas in Mt Barker and Denmark and beyond, the team of 10 started in February this year.
Learning seed collecting skills and land management techniques, they also built a seed drying tunnel to help process and clean the seed.
In the next phase of the project starting later this month, about 25,000 seedlings will be sown, helping to sprout food for species such as the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo. This work will complement the installation of bird nesting boxes and the group’s TAFE studies.
The project is run by Greening Australia with funding from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The rangers hope the project will relieve some of the stresses caused by land clearing in the Great Southern.
Norm Williams is one of the rangers working on the project.
He said learning the best ways to heal the land had been rewarding.
“The project has taught me the variety of different methods behind collecting and extracting the seeds... and how to recognise local natives and weeds,” he said.
“I’ve learned how much I love working in a team that is helping to heal the land.
“The project has taught me the Noongar names for both foods and medicines that can be made from the seeds. It’s great to see people making a living doing what they love, while giving back to the land and the community.
“It is important to me to help restore Australia’s fragile ecosystems and habitat, creating healthy productive landscapes where people and nature can thrive.”
Today’s celebratory event will start at 10am at the Mt Barker Noongar Centre on Montem Street.
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