Cultural Services

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Cultural Heritage Awareness Training

The First Peoples of the Millewa-Mallee people have maintained continuous connection to our Traditional Country from the initial period of colonisation up to the present.

The First Peoples of the Millewa-Mallee offer Cultural Awareness training, to raise participants’ awareness of:

  • The systemic disadvantage that has resulted from the dispossession of Aboriginal land and culture.
  • The negative impact of stereotyping on Victoria’s Indigenous communities.
  • The significance of cultural diversity within Victoria’s Indigenous communities.
  • The richness of Victoria’s Aboriginal cultural heritage.
  • Reasons for the delivery of programs and services to Indigenous communities; and
  • Opportunities for Indigenous people to contribute to education, training, and employment within various
    Departments.
  • A highly successful Cultural enterprise designed to radically alter your existing perceptions of people and
    place and challenges your own preconceived connections.
Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 102_LOW RES

Welcome to Country, Traditional Smoking and Dance Cermony

A Welcome to Country is to officially welcome people to the land of the traditional custodians of that area. It also thanks the ancestors for allowing meetings or events to take place on that land.
The meaning behind this was not only to make visitors feel safe but to instill in them a feeling for the land that would give them a connection to that country. The hope was that they would therefore treat it respectfully as if it were their own land. The symbolism is important as it offers the visitor permission to be on that land and provides protection to the visitor. In traditional times, you did not travel to another area without being officially welcomed to that area.

A Smoking is an important part of any ceremony, which can be performed as its own ceremony. It is an ancient traditional custom that involves the burning of various native plants to produce smoke, which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits from the people and the land and make a pathway for a brighter future. Certain Traditional smoking ceremonies are also used for positive therapeutic outcomes depending on what plants are available from area to area.

Traditional and ceremonial Aboriginal Dance has been a part of the Aboriginal culture for thousands of years. Dances
played a significant role in the spirituality of Australian Aboriginal tribes, and each group had different customs when it came to performing and orchestrating these dances. One of the major purposes of traditional Aboriginal dancing was to tell stories, which were passed down through generations. These stories would be about the land, animals, Dreamtime, and Aboriginal people. It is quite common for Aboriginal dance to incorporate imitations of certain animals, to assist in the storytelling and bring the dreamtime to life.

Ned_s Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 153_LOW RES

Request for Cultural Services

Request services such as Welcome to Country, cultural heritage training, smoking ceremony and traditional dance etc.

Cultural Heritage Services

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 34_LOW RES

Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP)

Victorian Act 2006 requirement. Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) assesses the potential impact of a proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage, as part of the development application. It then outlines measures to be taken before, during and after an activity to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage in the area. A cultural heritage management plan is required by law for high impact activities.

Our resident Archaeologist with The First People of the Millewa-Mallee Aboriginal Corporation can provide assistance in this area.

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Cultural Heritage Inductions

A Cultural Heritage Induction and / or Cultural Awareness Training (CAT) takes place after a Cultural Heritage Management Plan is finalised by our experienced staff. The Developer and staff that are involved in all ground disturbance works within the area gain an understanding of various aspects of Cultural Heritage within the area of work.

CAT presentations are available and recommended for all organisations and their staff.

The History of Aboriginal occupation is recommended and available via a CAT presentation to all organisations and their staff.

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Aboriginal Archaeology

Aboriginal Archaeology includes: Shell Middens, Scarred Trees, Cooking Mounds (Hearth Sites), Rock Art, Burials, Ceremonial Sites, Artefact Scatters and Quarries are collectively known as former Occupational sites, which is the evidence of Aboriginal occupation for more than 40,000 years.

These Aboriginal heritage places are of immense cultural, scientific, educational, and historic importance by providing the First Peoples of the Millewa-Mallee the link to our present and past culture. For further information, contact our resident Archaeologist.

Service Fees

Outline of all service fees relating to professional services for cultural and heritage services.

Request for Cultural Heritage Services

CHMP and Due Diligence assessments, RAP inspection services, Cultural Heritage inductions and permits. CHMP complex assessments and salvage.

Our Programs

CHMP Program

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 22_LOW RES

CHMP monitoring is to prevent the accidental destruction of any significant cultural heritage sites and places during approved works. Monitoring involves the observation by CHMP monitors, under the supervision of a qualified heritage consultant. Ground disturbance, i.e., Rabbit ripping, in archaeologically sensitive areas of land that are likely to contain cultural heritage sites, it’s important that these sites are not destroyed during approved works. Due diligence assessments should also form part of the CHMP.

River and Floodplain Restoration

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 47_LOW RES

Our dedicated team of River Rangers perform a vast range of conservation and ecosystem management activities across the First Peoples estate, site restoration programs, rehabilitation and renewal of natural landscapes, degraded sites, and riverine environments. Our team are also studying within the Conservation and Ecosystem Management Certificate to build upon their capacity with plant recognition, control plant pests, diseases and disorders, climate change factor within the land management.

Land Restoration

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Throughout the First Peoples estate our team are working in many areas that are in the process of ecological restoration to bring these areas back to a natural landscape and habitat that is safe for wildlife and native plant communities. Restoration of land benefits native food production, improved air and water quality, climate change resilience, biodiversity, and ecosystems.

Cultural Ranger Program

Ned_s Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 70_LOW RES

Our Ranger Program has staff working within the Safe Haven and River Ranger Teams. Programs include management of aquatic ecosystems, fish habitat and establishment of a fish hatchery, Cultural Environmental Land Management, Traditional Cultural Fire Management and many more conservation projects on Ned’s Corner.

Fish Hatchery

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A fish hatchery is also in the planning stages to be established on our Ned’s Corner property, where native fish will be hatched ready for release into designated waterways.

 

 

Natural Resource Management Services

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 50_LOW RES

Natural Resource Management Services
A team of Cultural Heritage Rangers are available to provide numerous NRM services including:

  • Rabbit ripping
  • Weed eradication / control and vegetation management
  • Tree planting and guarding
  • Fire management, revegetation
  • Feral animal management
  • Managing walking and vehicle tracks
  • Clear, monitor and maintain sacred places in consultation with Elders
  • Visitor management and patrols
  • Cultural Heritage Management

Ancestral Reburial an Protection Program

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FPMMAC has developed the Ponnun Pulgi ancestral reburial and protection program, in conjunction with Parks Victoria and the People and Parks Foundation. This is the largest Indigenous ancestral reburial and protection program in Australia.

Ponnun Pulgi – Healing Country Together partnership program has enabled the First People of the Millewa Mallee Aboriginal Corporation to build its capacity to fulfill its role of protecting and promoting the rights, interests, and aspirations of Traditional Owners of the Millewa Mallee, including ensuring their Ancestors are properly respected and Country is healed.
The First People have been able to identify and prioritise the damaged Ancestral burial sites across our vast Country, and – with funding – turn this painful situation into an opportunity for community development, engaging Traditional Owners in caring for Country and delivering training and
employment outcomes.

This program also ties in with our Feral Animal eradication and mass native planting programs, as rabbits and other feral animals are a great threat to the burial grounds. Our native nursery and planting program will rehabilitate the burial grounds back to an appropriate ecological condition.

Program Activities include:

  • Ancestral Reburials and Protection
  • Cultural Clearance & Heritage Protection
  • Feral Animal Control
  • Noxious Weed Removal
  • Native Planting

Safe Haven Program (Ned’s Corner)

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 20_LOW RES

The safe haven program is based around the bushfire biodiversity and recovery to maximise long term resilience activity, with the program being set out over 4 stages on Ned’s corner station.

Stage 1: Aims to carry out the planning and preparation which consists of, on ground mapping and capacity building, involving project establishment, ecological management planning, cultural mapping, pest animal and weed control throughout the re-established 500ha site, in addition to future works across the 10,00ha area.

Stage 2: Will consist of the construction of an animal enclosures provision of watering points and vital communications and remote- sensing infrastructure.

Stage 3: Reintroduction of fauna to support existing species to increase the existing population.

Stage 4: Maintenance of the Safe Havens infrastructure, data collection and monitoring the population of native animals. Across all stages as a larger program FPMMAC will be pivotal in promoting self-determination of land and culture management of Ned’s Corner.

 

View Neds Corner Video here:
https://trustfornature.org.au/what-we-do/neds-corner-station

 

 

Native Sales & Services

Native Seed Production and Collection

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 11_LOW RES

FPMMAC have a dedicated Cultural Heritage Ranger team who collect seed under a Dept. of Environment Land Water (DELWP) and Planning Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Seed Collection Permit (Permit # 10010331). Seed collected from parks and reserves land is collected under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Parks Victoria and FPMMAC. Seed is collected according to the responsible methods contained within Guidelines Our Rangers work on- country within FPMMAC RAP land but will collect outside our designated RAP area with the permission of landholders and other RAP bodies on Public Land sites.

Quality Control is independently overseen by Dr. Ian Sluiter, a local botanist, and landscape ecologist and internationally accredited Certified Ecological Restoration Professional with the Society for Ecological Restoration.

Seed is currently processed at our Mildura Resource Hub Depot, with seed cleaned and stored in air-tight containers in a cool room maintained at ~18°C year-round. Seed proposed for longer-term storage is hermetically sealed to prevent degradation from air and insect attacks and is refrigerated.

Innovations to Seed Collection Services proposed for the near future will include a Seed Production Area (SPA) at our Birdwoodton property, where seed of targeted revegetation species that are
difficult to collect from the wild every year will be grown under irrigation. The SPA will also grow seed of species known to be indigenous to the FPMMAC RAP area for food, including Wattle seed and Native Perennial Grass seed for flour.

(Commander L.E., Ed.2021 ‘Florabank Guidelines – best practice guidelines for native seed collection and use (2nd edn).’
(Florabank Consortium: Australia).

BELAR Nursery

Ned's Corner handover ©Annette Ruzicka 22_LOW RES

Belar nursery is an Indigenous owned wholesale production nursery, specialising in Australian native trees, shrubs, grasses and climbers including Eucalyptus, Acacia, Saltbush and other species with provenance (but not limited to) the greater local area Murray Mallee and Lowan Mallee. The team
grows tube stock and hyko cell tray plants for revegetation. Prices are extremely competitive with large bulk nurseries and the quality of stock is excellent.

Our native trees, shrubs and grasses are predominantly seed grown with applications for restoring and regenerating country. We are invested in growing local plants of importance for the rehabilitation of significant cultural sites and for the restoration and rehabilitation of terrestrial, riparian and aquatic zones.

Tube stock is available for sale to government agencies, councils, NGO’s such as Greening Australia, private landholders, community groups, retail nurseries, schools and landscapers.

Staff of Belar Nursery also participate in Cultural awareness engagements in schools that promote traditional uses of plants as food, fibre and botanicals. Bush tucker plants are available for purchase through these programs.

Tube stock for revegetation is grown to order. Orders need to be placed prior to Spring for planting the following Autumn. Tube stock is sold in batches of 50 with surplus stocklists available on request.

Our nursery addresses the need to provide meaningful work, training and self-determination for First Nations people by involvement in growing local native species and participating in revegetation programs.

For all enquiries, please contact admin@fpmmac.com.au
or by phone: 03 4014 9780

Our nursery and Bio-Cultural Centre is situated on the Calder Highway in Irymple in North-Western
Victoria.