Mitchell Plateau fire walk – a journey into the past

Published 06 Aug 2013 
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Joining Tom & 6 Wunambal Gaambera rangers on a Mitchell Plateau for a 5 day fire walk, I had the privilege to take in some new country and a personal journey back into the past.

For the local rangers it was their first on ground trip down the selected watershed route we walked, and it was TRULY exceptional to be walking through country where we couldn’t find and evidence of introduced flora or fauna but there was evidence of indigenous occupation over time everywhere. The walk had strong links to my days working with traditional owners on similar fire projects in Kakadu & the Arnhem Land escapement, and I was able to reflect on some great archived memories & relive the vibe of walking through country with traditional owners (TO).

On a more personal level though, this was country where my Dad spent time as a young boy growing up on the Kunmunya Mission. Richard the senior TO on the fire walks parents also lived on Kunmunya and family & country where our immediate connection. In 1945 dad’& his mum traveling in a tiger moth had a forced landing on the Kimberly coast following his mum being shot in the leg trying to kill a chook eating python! After Grandma Heggie was repaired in Broome they accepted a flight back to the mission by a visiting Salvation Army pilot who subsequently got lost! After 4 days the plane was located and then it was up to the local Kunmunya mob to walk into the site and retrieve then a further 3 days after that.  It’s a story that has always resonated in our family and it was an amazing opportunity & experience being up there with the local mob and thinking of interconnected paths & histories on many levels. Thanks BHA

 

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<br/>
<br/>
<br/>
Camp site<br/> Camp site
Departure lounge<br/> Departure lounge
Dry season camping<br/> Dry season camping
Landscape<br/> Landscape
Swift bay<br/> Swift bay