Members from CFA District 8 this week took part in a healing country education day at Daangean (Devilbend Reserve) to increase their knowledge around the cultural significance of the land for indigenous communities.
The event was part of CFA’s recognition of NAIDOC Week which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ connection, culture and achievements, and this year has the theme of Heal Country.
Indigenous artist and Bunurong man Adam Magennis, led the activities and said it was fantastic to see CFA members leading the way in increasing their understanding.
“We’ve been looking at what types of materials are out on country that our ancestors have left behind, we’ve looked at some of our heritage, some artefacts and some shell remains.”
“We’re also exploring our relationships on country with First Nations people and CFA, and what we can do in the future in terms of collaborating on country like identifying where our heritage is and how we manage that in terms of planning for fuel reduction burns.”
District 8 Assistant Chief Fire Officer Jamie Hansen said it was incredible to see what was unearthed, and how our Indigenous communities used those tools in their every day living .
“The biggest take away was how much cultural significance in the form of artefacts is just beneath us in the ground,” he said.
“We saw some stones and rocks that were used in tool making that were 10,000 years old which is just amazing.”
ACFO Hansen also said there was a lot of the value for future planning for planned burning.
“This type of activity, and having this awareness and understanding, will help in their planning to ensure they don’t unknowingly disturb those culturally significant sites.”
The crews also helped removed significant amounts of the introduced species Spanish Heath which aligns with NAIDOC Week’s theme of Heal Country.