Cultural managements

program celebrates cultural fire | Independent Geelong

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A pilot training program will allow members of the Wadawurrung community to develop their fire management skills and share their knowledge of traditional burning with local fire management specialists.

The training was designed by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and will be delivered for the first time this month.

Twelve members of the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation began training in Anglesea earlier this month, building their ability to use planned fire for cultural practices on public and private lands.

The training aims to combine the fire knowledge of FFMVic and the Wadawurrung community, who are the traditional owners of the land around Geelong and the Otways, as one of the first steps in the reintroduction of traditional burning.

FFMVic Otway District Manager David Roberts said there is a lot of knowledge traditional owners need to share with firefighters.

“We are committed to increasing the capacity of the community to carry out cultural burning, and this training is another step towards managing the country in partnership with the traditional owners,” he said.

“We know that fire has always been a part of the Victorian landscape. As such, we appreciate the wealth of cultural knowledge about the fire held by the traditional owners and this opportunity to exchange ideas around the fire.

Based on a nationally accredited firefighter training course, the program covers a range of topics such as fire behavior, fire suppression and ecological outcomes and recognizes that traditional homeowners have used fire as a fire management tool. land for tens of thousands of years.

“Traditional owners are carrying out cultural burning for reasons related to the upkeep of the country, including protecting the land from extreme fires, promoting revegetation and maintaining the connection to the country,” said Blair Gilson, fire chief. cultural activities of Wadawurrung.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge of cultural burning with the fire management specialists involved in the training in order to develop FFMVic’s understanding of cultural burning.

The training was designed after the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation identified a need to acquire knowledge and skills that would lead to an increase in cultural firefighting practices in the country.

Upon completion, participants will be accredited to attend FFMVic planned burns, paving the way for their own planned cultural burns in the future.