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A commitment to country and culture

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A commitment to country and caring for indigenous cultural heritage underpin a collaborative environmental project involving Warrnambool CoastCare LandCare and the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.

“The Warrnambool CoastCare LandCare Network (WCLN) has long acknowledged our region's traditional owners as 'the first landcarers' who cared for the land for thousands of years in a much more sustainable way than a handful of generations of colonisers have done since the early 1800s,” WCLN chair Bruce Campbell said.

The work at Thunder Point includes revegetation and strategic placement of sand banks to control erosion.

Thunder Point is dotted with coastal middens, distinct concentrations of shell that are evidence of past Aboriginal hunting, gathering and food processing.

“This project aims to slow and prevent erosion, begin to revegetate and to do so in a culturally sensitive manner in partnership with Eastern Maar,” Mr Campbell said. 

In a statement Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC) said it welcomed the chance to partner with the Warrnambool CoastCare Landcare Network (WCLN) and was proud of the project results:

“This project was exciting for many reasons.

“First and foremost, it aligned strongly with Eastern Maar’s goals of environmental protection and cultural preservation.

“It also provided us with the opportunity to educate the broader community about the historical significance of this iconic area as Uncle Rob Lowe Senior provided a cultural heritage and land use induction to those involved.

“Finally, it gave us the chance to strengthen our partnerships with valued groups within the community, including the Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network (WCLN) and Working for Victoria participants.

“We are proud to have been part of this meaningful project and wish to thank all those involved."

In the past the Thunder Point area was damaged by unrestricted access and multiple informal tracks. 

“Although today there is a single formal walking track from the continue to impact on vegetation and cause ongoing erosion,” Mr Campbell said.

“A key component of this project is cultural awareness and informing the wider community about both the environmental and cultural significance of the Thunder Point area. 

“Covid-19 prevented us from running the planned community awareness sessions but a short documentary video is being produced instead that will be released through a wide range of community networks.”

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