Walking Together, Working Together with First Nations People


By Raylene Brown, Project Officer, Holbrook Landcare Network

As part of the ‘Walking Together, Working Together’ project, Holbrook Landcare Network (HLN) is inviting local First Nations peoples to help them develop policies and procedures that will build strong foundations for ongoing partnerships, and create guidelines for working together respectfully.

This project is a pilot for the Murray Region and aims to build connections, trust, mutual respect, and partnerships across the community through the shared goals of Caring for Country. The aim is to build long-term relationships so traditional cultural values and knowledge can be included for improved land, water, biodiversity, and community connections.

HLN Project Officer Raylene Brown said “We know it takes a community to Care for Country responsibly, and that healthy Country fosters healthy people and communities. We see a future where local First Nations Peoples’ knowledge holders are a fundamental part of our organisation. We see a time when these partnerships are normal when we employ First Peoples’ Project Officers and contractors; work with First Nations’ businesses, and have local First Nations’ People in the HLN organisation. There are many ways we could work together.”

So far, HLN have met with Albury and District Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre, and Dyiraamalang Wiradjuri Elders (Albury), and is arranging meetings with Brungle-Tumut LALC and Wagga LALC and other local groups in the Holbrook and Upper Murray area.

From these discussions, HLN will create guidelines setting out how to work respectfully and inclusively with Wiradjuri, Ngarigo, Waveroo and Wolgalu peoples – the traditional local landowners. Developed in partnership with these nations, the documents will inform HLN policy, so a partnership with local First Nations Peoples when Caring for Country becomes the norm.

Raylene Brown said “We hope to build ongoing relationships with local First Nations’ People to Care for Country, using traditional cultural values of collaboration, commitment, inclusiveness, and shared responsibility. Our aim is to grow First Nations People’s membership, engagement, and employment in Landcare, by embedding Cultural Land Management Values into our day to day work. We believe that working together will help us restore and reconnect our lands and all its peoples into the future.”

If you would like to participate in the ‘Walking Together, Working Together’ consultation process contact Holbrook Landcare Network on 02 6036 3181.

Looking After Country' by Uncle David Dunn

This artwork 'Looking After Country' by Uncle David Dunn, was commissioned by the Murray Landcare Collective to celebrate Landcare and Aboriginal cultural values in partnership with the whole community to improve our land, water, and biodiversity.

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