As part of an initiative to showcase and teach about traditional Aboriginal bushfoods, planning is well underway to establish a native bushfood garden at the Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Aboriginal Corporation premises in Geraldton.
Members of the Dann family recently met at the Waranygu Bayalgu garden site, with Project Leader Donna Ronan, NACC Aboriginal Liaison Officer Bianca McNeair, and Skillhire Supervisor Matt Antonovich.
Mrs Dora Dann and many of her immediate family were in attendance, and said that they were very happy to hear that their lifelong commitment to culture and community will help make a positive contribution to the up-coming native bush garden project.
The first consultation with Nana Dora Dann and family since works commenced in the Waranygu Bayalgu (digging for food) Bush Tucker Garden was a great success.
The unique understanding and management skills that the family have in relation to traditional natural resource management, will provide skills and training for the younger generation to become environmental stewards and carry on the ancient responsibility of caring for country.
At this week’s consultation meeting, planning began on a trip to country that will provide opportunities for youth to learn from Elders, and to further experience connection to traditional country.
Elder Elvie Dann expressed the importance of learning about country, and learning the rules to follow when out on country while older members of the community are still here to pass it on.
Skillhire supervisor Matt Antonovich explained the development stages of the native garden beds and how they will provide traditional bush food and medicine for the community to access and learn about.
Skillhire participants also addressed the Elders, expressing how privileged they felt to be a part of this project.
NACC Aboriginal Liaison Officer Bianca McNeair delivered a presentation about the importance of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in natural resource management.
“Remembering our old people and the knowledge that they had about country is very important to our identity as Aboriginal people, and directly benefits our country and community in many ways,” she said.
The Waranygu Bayalgu Bush garden project is a partnership between Bundiyarra ACAC and NACC, with help from Drylands Permaculture and Skillhire Geraldton.
The garden is named in honour of Mrs Dann and is inspired by the book Wayanygu Bayalgu which she has written.