Over the September long weekend the highly anticipated Blues for the Bush returned to Charles Darwin Reserve in the Shire of Perenjori, 500km north east of Perth.
It was a spectacular weekend – with more than 1,500 people throwing on their dancing shoes and sharing good times while listening to some captivating blues music.
But the event wasn’t just about the music – the Open Day gave participants the chance to learn about ecology, nature conservation and sustainability in a stunning outback landscape.
Throughout the event Bush Heritage staff and volunteers conducted ecology and history tours around the 68,000 hectare reserve. The free guided bus tours gave participants a rare opportunity to see and understand what makes Charles Darwin Reserve so unique. Whether it was talking about the thatching on Mulga Ant nests, discussing the parasitic traits of Quandong or the importance of rock holes in the landscape, participants departed the bus with a wealth of new knowledge and broad smiles.
Another enlightening element of the Open Day was the Gunduwa Conservation Forum, which this year had the theme of People and Environment. NACC was proud to again support the event which saw more than 70 people visit the Gunduwa Tent and converse over how people manage their environment and the influence we have on the landscape.
The Forum was kicked off with a lively poster session which was followed by a stellar line up of speakers. Badimaya man Ashley Bell gave a moving Welcome to Country with a distinct local flavour and then spoke about his beloved home Ninghan Indigenous Protected Area. Paul Robb from Department Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions described the many prospects for visitors at Karara Rangeland Park and Melissa Farrelly from Australian Wildlife Conservancy at the neighbouring Mt Gibson Sanctuary spoke about threatened fauna translocations.
Local farmer and ‘Soil Chapman’ talked about regenerative agriculture and how it was positively influencing his farm and family. CEO Farmers for Climate Action, Verity Morgan-Schmidt spoke about farmers calling for climate action and the need for everyone to spark the conversation around climate issues. Dean Revell from Select Carbon then closed the Forum with an intriguing talk about how beef and biodiversity can be bedfellows.
When the sun finally set on the Open Day, the crowds were drawn to the ‘Enchantress of the Trapeze’ and Festival Manager Theaker von Ziarno – who captivated everyone’s heart and made them beat louder, stronger and faster during her aerial performances.
The crowds then headed to the dance floor, kicked up their heels and celebrated the 2018 Blues for the Bush in style – under the stars and with a true feeling of community spirit.
From everyone at NACC, we look forward to partnering with the Shire of Perenjori and Bush Heritage in the near future and seeing you all again in Perenjori for an unforgettable weekend of music, activities and fun for all the family.