When I remember my first visit to Brogo Reserve, two things come to mind: the overwhelming feeling that I was seeing freshwater parts of my Country for the first time, and how much my legs hurt after all the walking!
Reserve manager, Josh Wellington was as excited to show me around the reserve as I was to be there. We walked through thick patches of wet plants, along steep slopes, and jumped across huge boulders checking out every part of the reserve we could access at the time.
I took everything in, my mind and spirit were swimming with it all.
The freshwater falls after all the rain, the Maliyan/Eagle’s nest towering over the reserve, the crystal-clear river bursting with bundles of Lomandra on all sides, and the breath-taking views.
The Budjaarn though, the Birds – that's who really got me. For the past few years, I’ve worked indoors, leaving little time for my favourite thing – birding.
At Brogo, the Budjaarn voices come from every direction – from the gentle chitter chatter of Rosellas, the Honeyeaters in the canopy, to a tricky Lyrebird doing its best bird call impressions to stump Josh and I!
I was most excited to see a group of over 20 Varied Sitella flitting from one tree to the next in a wave of tiny wings and feathers that you could easily miss if you weren’t paying attention. I haven’t seen a Varied Sitella in years. It felt so good to be amongst Budjaarn at Brogo.
It’s not just me who loved connecting with Country through Brogo Reserve. During my visit, we were joined by two Yuin traditional custodians from Wallaga Lake – Aunties Alison Walker and Yuin Kelly.
I’ll never forget their faces on that visit, both women were so happy to be there, so excited and engaged by everything they saw, and so eager to come back here again. It makes me so happy to see my aunties like this – I want to bring them here again as often as possible.
Since that first visit to Brogo, I’ve been back a few times and now I am working for Bush Heritage as an Aboriginal engagement intern. It’s a great opportunity that I am so grateful for, because it gives me the opportunity to bring my aunties and I to places on our Country we haven’t been able to go for a long time, which helps us to get to know our Country again. That means so much to me. I’m really looking forward to spending more time getting to know Brogo Reserve with my Yuin community and Bush Heritage.
Sara’s internship is supported through our Seeding the Future program, with funding provided by a visionary cohort of philanthropists from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network and Australian Communities Foundation.