Woka Walla & Protecting the Ecological Character of Barmah & Lower Goulburn National Park
Woka Walla is a Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation owned and operated business that has been developed with support from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Australian Government’s Australian National Landcare Programme (formerly Caring for Our Country Program). The business that has been operating since 2011 provides opportunity for Aboriginal people to secure employment and build skills in natural resource management, whilst caring for Traditional Lands of Yorta Yorta people.
Key areas that Woka Walla are engaged in to undertake natural resource management are within the Barmah and Lower Goulburn National Park, where the teams undertake pest plant and animal control works, fencing, and habitat monitoring to protect the ecological character of these Nationally and Internationally significant riparian and wetland areas.
Rock Correa Interpretive Walk
The Rock Correa Walk is a collaborative project between the Tallis Family, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. The project has been made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
The walk was designed to take in the magnificent views from the hills whilst using interpretive signage at points along the way to raise awareness of the Yorta Yorta people as the Traditional Owners of this region and to highlight the importance of local resources and the regional landscape to Yorta Yorta people.
The walk also incorporates information about the Grassy Woodlands that once were abundant in this region, and highlights some of the important flora and fauna species that survive in this landscape today, such as the Rock Correa after which this walk is named.
Finally the walk also focuses on settlement of this region by Europeans who valued the rich productive soils of the slopes of the Dookie hills and plains for agricultural production, including the wine industry which is today being revitalised by the Tallis family.
The walk is accessible at any time whilst the Tallis Cellar Door is open. Opening times are available via the Tallis Website http://www.talliswine.com.au/
Yorta Yorta Connection to Country Documentary
This project was funded from the Australian Government – National Landcare Programme – Traditional Owner Capacity and Participation Project. A key objective of this documentary was to raise awareness of the Traditional Owners in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, and the connections Traditional Owners have to Country. The project aimed to facilitate the exchange of information between Traditional Owners, land management agencies and the broader community to build relationships, and increase the capacity for Traditional Owners to be engaged in caring for Country.
The Yorta Yorta - Connection to Country – Dookie documentary has been developed to raise awareness of the connections that Yorta Yorta people have to Country, in particular the importance of the Dookie region to the Yorta Yorta people, and to highlight the valuable natural resources that exist in this landscape.
The documentary, includes the recording, collation and exchange of Traditional Ecological Knowledge with Yorta Yorta Elder Uncle Colin Walker, and Neville Atkinson. The documentary will be utilised to engage younger generations of Yorta Yorta people in connecting to, and developing a greater understanding of their own culture and connections to Traditional lands.
Sand Woodland Project
Sand hills located across Yorta Yorta Country in northern Victoria and southern NSW hold important and unique natural and cultural heritage values. The Sand Ridge Woodland Program is designed to improve and protect these values whilst supporting Yorta Yorta people to have a direct role in protecting these sensitive landforms through the creation of employment opportunities in natural resource management of Sand Ridge Woodlands.
The program engages with both public and private land managers in revegetating and regenerating native vegetation sites on and near sand hills, controling pest plants and animals, and protecting cultural heritage sites.
The Sand Woodland Project has successfully pulled together different land management agencies from both Victoria and New South Wales to collaborate with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation for effective delivery of this important cross border project.
The project helps protect plants such as White Cypress Pine, Yellow Box, Silver Banksia, Hooked Needlewood, Lightwood, Buloke and Sweet Bursaria that provide important habitat for species including Barking Owl, Powerful Owl and the Squirrel Glider.
The project has also successfully provided protection to highly signficant cultural sites through fencing and revegetation to support site protection and repatriation activities.