As this edition of Bushtracks is released it’s likely to be Wularri, the knock ’em down season, on Rembarrnga country in central Arnhem Land. Also known as Kahwurrhrakkan to their Dalabon neighbours, this is the time between the wet and cool seasons, when the speargrass is drying out and a complex set of environmental cues start to indicate it is time to burn.
For Rembarrnga and Dalabon people, knowledge of these seasonal indicators is integral to the way they care for their country. That knowledge is passed on through language, so if language is lost, this knowledge is at risk. In ‘Language of the seasons’ we look at how Rembarrnga and Dalabon people are working to preserve their traditional knowledge through the creation of seasonal calendars.
People are a big theme in this edition. As we pursue our ambitious strategy to deepen and double our impact by 2030, we know that it is our people who will take us there; from our Aboriginal partners to our volunteers, supporters, researchers and other landholders who we work with across the country.
In ‘Called to the night,’ Bron Willis writes of ecologist Nick Leseberg’s unconventional journey to arguably one of the most high-profile conservation jobs in the nation: protecting the elusive Night Parrot on Pullen Pullen Reserve, Maiawali country in Queensland. Nick’s career is a testament to his dedication and enthusiasm towards his work.
It is these two qualities of dedication and enthusiasm that I witness in our people every day – such as in the team at Scottsdale Reserve on Ngunawal country in New South Wales. After the Black Summer fires tore through Scottsdale in 2020, our staff and volunteers took it upon themselves to begin the process of restoring the reserve’s valley floor by creating their own native grass seed orchard.
And it is this same dedication and enthusiasm that I hope will delight you as you read of the ‘Iso Bird Club’ that our staff established to keep them sane during the pandemic and connected to what they love most: our remarkable landscapes and native species.
We’ll have challenges as we head towards 2030, but we’re dedicated to overcoming them, and enthusiastic about what we’re working to protect - as, I know, are you. Thank you for being one of our people. I look forward to sharing more stories with you throughout 2022.
Heather Campbell, Chief Executive Officer.