Nowra Public Wharf, Wharf Road, Nowra NSW 2541 0429 981 007 info@shoalhavenrivercruise.com.au

National Indigenous Fire Workshop

July 24, 2018

What the National Indigenous Fire Workshop is all about

From Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 July 2018, Shoalhaven River Cruise provided Cultural Water Tours on the Shoalhaven River for the 2018 National Indigenous Fire Workshop being held at Bundanon Trust Estate. 2018 is the first year that this Workshop has been held away from Cape York. This is the result of the hard work and commitment of many people sharing the vision of revitalising culture fire practice throughout Australia. The theme for this years’ Workshop was ‘Healing culture, people, and Country with the knowledge of fire’ and is a journey of restoring fire pathways across Australia. This event was proudly hosted by the Yuin Nation, The Djuwin Mudjingaalbarage Firesticks and Bundanon Trust in partnership with Firesticks Alliance, Mulong Productions and Cape York Natural Resource Management.
Participants at the event learnt hands-on fire techniques from Aboriginal cultural fire practitioners and Firesticks community of practice Members who shared their knowledge about the right fire for Country, called the ‘Good Fire’.  The Workshop showcased Indigenous led fire projects across Australia and provided mentoring and training in Indigenous fire management and cultural practices.

Shoalhaven River Cruise at the Workshop

Our involvement in this National Event was to provide a number of Cruises on the Shoalhaven River to showcase the landscape and vegetation in the region. We were accompanied by Russ, who provided commentary to the passengers on the requirements for fire management within the region to control non-native and invasive vegetation. Day 1, Thursday 12 July saw many of the participants arrive at Bundanon in preparation for the Welcome Dinner. Most participants were camping at the property, while others stayed nearby. Unfortunately, the region encountered some rainfall and a hail storm on the first day which gave visitors a surprise and very fresh Welcome.
Day 2 & 3, Friday 13 & Saturday 14 July, saw participants undertaking presentation, workshops, yarning circles as well as an opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural fire practices. They were able to learn from highly experienced practitioners from all around Australia and hear about the work that is being undertaken in land management, ecology and caring for Country with cultural fire. Participants were also welcomed onboard the Shoalhaven Explorer to enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Shoalhaven River. During these cruises they were provided an ongoing commentary about the area, the vegetation, erosion and how everyone can get involved to restore the land to its former condition. The commentary throughout the cruises was very informative and gave an insight into how the Aboriginal people view the land and about how the land has changed over time and the reasons for these changes. Day 4, Sunday 15 July was a Cultural Fire Day which featured artists, performers and entertainment that brought the art, culture and fire together. Day 4 allowed the wider community to attend the event and to embrace the cultural fire practice through fire making and also to experience a diverse range of cultural activities, food, arts and workshops in celebration of culture on Country.

An awesome Event

Throughout the Event, Shoalhaven River Cruise provided Cultural Water Tours to more than 400 passengers from all over Australia.  We learnt some interesting information about our Region and the Aboriginal Culture in respect to the land.

Apart from the rain and hail on the first night, the weather was fantastic for the middle of winter, with blue skies and sunshine helping to showcase our fantastic region and the Shoalhaven River.

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