NAIDOC Week environmental grants restore cultural landscapes

THIS NAIDOC Week we are celebrating the work of four Aboriginal organisations who have together been awarded more than $310,000 to restore cultural landscapes and waterways in regional NSW.
Media Release

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP said this year’s ‘Protecting our Places’ grant recipients are undertaking large scale ecological and cultural rehabilitation projects with Elders to heal Country.

“With the 2023 NAIDOC Week theme being ‘For our Elders’, the program encourages grantees to invite community Elders to participate in the project, recognising that their cultural knowledge is the key to success,” Ms Saffin said.

“I couldn’t be happier that three of the four successful Aboriginal organisations who applied for these grants are from our beautiful Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast regions.

“For tens of thousands of years local Aboriginal people have looked after our unique landscape using their traditional knowledge and the cultural wisdom of their Elders, and after last year’s devastating floods that expertise is needed more than ever.”

Melissa Wondracz, from the NSW Goverrnment’s Environmental Trust, said the grants were now in their 20th year and support Aboriginal-led conservation projects. She said this year’s recipients are tackling everything from weed control to environmental education to protecting cave art.

“It’s such an honour for the NSW Environmental Trust to support these projects that engage the community to repair, reshape and reconnect to Country,” Ms Wondracz said.

“All these projects, from the Central West to the Northern Rivers, will restore landscapes that have meaning and purpose for future generations.”

The four successful 2023 Protecting our Places grant recipients are:

  • Bandjalang Aboriginal Corporation (Evans Head) awarded $79,955 to protect an important cave art site, restore a walking track and undertake cultural burns to heal the landscape around the cave.
  • Ngulingah Jugun (Our Country) Aboriginal Corporation (Casino) awarded $75,750 to treat invasive weeds, plant native species, construct an educational walking track and promote language to reconnect community to southern gym Country.
  • Mujaay Ganma Foundation Aboriginal Corporation (Bowraville) awarded $77,400 to heal Country through habitat and vegetation rehabilitation and create Aboriginal employment opportunities on Country.
  • Tubba-Gab (Maing) Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation (Dubbo) awarded $78,000 to continue to restore and rejuvenate Jinchilla, a 12-hectare property outside Dubbo, with a focus on creek revegetation.

For more information about the successful grantees, their projects and the Environmental Trust, visit the NSW Environment website.

Tuesday 4 July 2023