The program is based on-Country at Nowanup, this means there is plenty of opportunity for the intergenerational transfer of knowledge, and landcare can be implemented in culturally meaningful ways that provide a sense of purpose and worth for Noongar people.
Now is pivotal time – the Elders who not only led the community through difficult times, but also retain considerable cultural and ecological knowledge, are still available to teach and re-build Noongar culture.
Now for the first time the Lotterywest grant provides financial stability for the Caretaker team, and means there is a platform to build more partnerships and opportunities.
Although the Caretaker Team has mostly comprised men, a yorga team first emerged in 2019-20 with funding from Greening Australia/Woodside for a seed collecting project.
The recent Lotterywest funds have now provided a small amount of funding to establish a Nowanup Yorga Caretaker team.
The development of a solid team will likely involve time with elders on-Country in an emotionally safe environment with a strong social support network focusing on women’s health and empowerment.
This will enable the cultural knowledge to be passed on to the younger generations.
Other needs that aim to be addressed include:
- increased capacity in decision-making around women’s responsibilities to care for Country, and development of women related tourism opportunities (cultural cookups, cultural tours, camps and workshops),
- preparation of Indigenous products (propagating native seedlings for medicines and food), and
- increased contribution of women to the cultural connection camps at Nowanup.
What they do on and off site
- The restoration of degraded farmland (through seed picking and replanting) across the central Gondwana Link located between the Stirling and the Fitzgerald National Parks.
- Land management of Nowanup property such as fire break maintenance, infill planting, cultural burning and walk trail construction and mainentance.
- Support the cultural connection and education camps through preparation and clean up
- Local landcare groups including Greening Australia, Bush Heritage Australia and Fitzgerald Biosphere Group both Support and contract the Nowanup Ranger team to work on landcare projects.
- Caring for elders.
- Caring for culturally important heritage sites in the local area and conducting cultural surveys.
- Training in Conservation and Indigenous Land Management at TAFE.