Last Tuesday, around 30 members of the Budjiti community travelled to our Naree Reserve in New South Wales to return a collection of cultural artefacts back on country.
The artefacts that were repatriated in a special cultural ceremony – among them grinding stones, grinding plates and message sticks – had been found around the homestead after Bush Heritage took on management of Naree in 2012.
They'll now be used as a learning landscape for other Budjiti people and to teach the broader community about Budjiti culture.
Seeing the grandchildren of Budjiti Elder Phil Eulo carefully place each artefact back on country, watched by 83-year-old Aunty Ruby – the oldest living Budjiti person – was a special moment for us at Bush Heritage.
Not only does it mark the first time a formal repatriation has occurred in partnership on one of our reserves, but it represents years of working side-by-side with the Budjiti people to help support them to actively manage their country.
It couldn’t have happened without the efforts of Naree’s reserve managers Dave and Sue Akers, who have been instrumental in building a trusting relationship with the Budjiti people and organising the repatriation ceremony.
On the day, the Budjiti also launched a new learning resource containing information on the cultural uses of plants found on Naree.