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DJA DJA WURRUNG CONTINUES TO CARE FOR COUNTRY

Statement by Rodney Carter, DJAARA Chief Executive Officer on the Wombat Forest.

DJAARA is increasingly being present on Country to heal our totemic species such as Gal Gal, Barramul and Yung. We bring our ideology of Caring for Country by Gardening the Environment. For us, Gardening the Environment is about placing people back into the landscape as our Ancestors were, and it is as much about healing us as it is about healing Country.

Our Country as Landscape has been modified in many ways, so placing us back into the Landscape allows a positive influence on the Country’s plants and animals’ healthy future. We better understand now how our Forest Gardening is applied to create open woodlands as our Ancestors had created in forested areas.

Our priority in the greater Wombat Forest area is to restore the undergrowth to its natural ecology by removing the fallen trees from the 2021 storms, and we are actively working with VicForests as they assist our capacity to care for Country in the restoration and clean-up.

DJAARA continues to be guided by the knowledge of our Dja Dja Wurrung Ancestors, the first conservationists. They expertly managed this land and respected the environment to ensure the right land management was in place. They knew the plants and animals, cycles, and systems across Country. They looked after Country in the changing times and environment around them, and in 2022, with the many generations that have followed, we are duty-bound to do the same.

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