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Posted on 08/07/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Respect for Cultural Land Management

Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Conservation Team is working on a new project to integrate Traditional Practices into the land it is privileged to manage. 

The Nature Parks respectfully acknowledges that the Crown Land it manages forms part of the traditional lands and waters of the Bunurong people and that they are of spiritual, cultural and economic importance to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

The Nature Parks’ Reconciliation Action Plan 2019-2022 details our commitment to reconciliation and the many opportunities for deep engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in managing Country, sharing knowledge and creating opportunities. 

As part of this, the Conservation team recently undertook a program to develop a Cultural Heritage Management Portfolio which will ensure the Nature Parks’ understanding and compliance with Aboriginal Heritage regulations when conducting necessary conservation works throughout the year.   

The project involved Environment Ranger, Shani Blyth, working with heritage consultant Adam Magennis to prepare a portfolio of heritage management resources for the Conservation team. Shani and Adam then developed and implemented a training program for the Conservation team which involved both theory and practical work on Country. The next steps will be to obtain a Cultural Heritage Permit for the team’s proposed conservation works and roll out the cultural heritage training to all on-ground staff.

Shani was born in Launceston, Tasmania and grew up on Flinders Island where she recalls mutton birding as a highlight of her childhood. Shani has always celebrated her Torres Strait Islander heritage, often incorporating it into her art, which she studied at school. After leaving school, she took up a traineeship at a bank and quickly realised it wasn’t for her. She jumped at the chance to undertake a traineeship at the Nature Parks’ to learn more about her Culture and working on Country. 

“This project is based around getting the Nature Parks compliant with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and getting our team familiar with the process of working in these areas,” says Shani.

“We are currently preparing Cultural Permit applications for the Bunurong Land Council for proposed works in each key area that we manage.”

“It is important that the Nature Parks is compliant with the regulations, as Aboriginal culture is the oldest living culture in Australia.”

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Roland Pick – Communications Executive                         

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