Emu

Free workshop explains how Aboriginal mosaic burning can be applied to current native grass management

Landholders keen to learn how to manage native grasses more effectively are invited to attend a free workshop in Benalla on May 8 featuring two speakers who are experts in the field on how Aborigines used fire to manage and shape the Australian landscape.

Landholders keen to learn how to manage native grasses more effectively are invited to attend a free workshop in Benalla on May 8 featuring two speakers who are experts in the field on how Aborigines used fire to manage and shape the Australian landscape.

Event organiser Gecko Clan co-ordinator Kerri Robson said the Landcare network had invited Professor Bill Gammage, author of The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigines Made Australia and Federation University of Australia Indigenous Studies Co-ordinator Dr Fred Cahir to the Catchment due to a huge amount of interest from the region’s producers in incorporating native grass and pasture management in to their farm planning.

“Over the   past few years we’ve held numerous workshops that have helped farmers identify native grasses and recognise the benefits of encouraging native grasses,” Ms Robson said.

“We now understand that native grasses such as red, kangaroo and windmill grass are not ‘pests’ to be got rid of but are well adapted to our climate so provide a valuable summer feed bank for stock and hold soil moisture well.

“The next logical step is to improve the way we manage these grasses. Professor Gammage and Dr Cahir are well-regarded experts in role of fire in Aboriginal culture and the way Aborigines used it to manage land. I was fortunate to hear them speak on this topic last year and it’s very exciting that they accepted our invitation to talk to landholders in our catchment about how this traditional knowledge can be applied to current management practices.”

The event is supported by Gecko CLaN, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, the Victorian Government and Landcare Victoria.

The Managing Native Grasslands with Mosaic Burning workshop will be held on Thursday, May 8 at the Benalla Performing Arts Centre from 9am to 12.30pm. Morning tea is provided. The event is free but bookings are essential. To book, or for more information, contact Kerri Robson on (03) 5763 2465 or 0418 140 710 or landcare2@iinet.net.au