In late July, I was lucky enough to travel to Karajarri country in the south-west Kimberley region of Western Australia where our newest Aboriginal partnership is based.
At over 3 million hectares, it’s a stunningly vast and beautiful landscape encompassing white sand beaches and sandstone sea cliffs, inland wetlands and red desert dunes.
I found it deeply moving to consider the land from the perspective of the Elders and Karajarri Women Rangers who accompanied me on country. They taught me how to crush tea tree leaves in my hands as a sanitiser, showed me tiny native berries that were succulent and beautiful to eat, and told me stories about their totem, Pijarta the Emu, whose numbers have been locally declining.
Our story ‘The future is female’ looks at how Bush Heritage’s partnership with the Karajarri Traditional Lands Association is supporting the women rangers to ensure knowledge and culture is kept alive. Their work, and that of their male counterparts, will ultimately benefit a suite of species, from Pijarta to Loggerhead and Green turtles, Dugong and Bilbies.
Another significant recent event for Bush Heritage has been the start of our largest ever revegetation project on Eurardy Reserve, Nanda country, north of Perth.
When done well, revegetation can be a powerful restoration tool. This long-awaited project will transform an area equivalent in size to 762 Melbourne Cricket Grounds, providing vital habitat for native species and offsetting more than 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.
On the other side of the country, in central Victoria, another of our revegetation projects is making headlines for different reasons. The experimental planting of 9000 seedlings on Nardoo Hills Reserve, Dja Dja Wurrung country, will help prepare the landscape for what is likely to be a much hotter and drier future.
Some of the words on the following pages are thought provoking and others deeply concerning. But there's also an overarching theme of intelligent, optimistic people doing their part to improve the health of this planet that we all call home.
I hope that you find inspiration in their stories, as I have.
Heather Campbell, Chief Executive.