The Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy was officially launched by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, at a ceremony at Nioka Bush Camp, Plenty Gorge Park, on Friday 10th May.

The Strategy is the culmination of two years work and thousands of years of knowledge and know-how from Traditional Owners across Victoria. It articulates the aspirations of Traditional Owners to practice cultural burning and ensure knowledge about fire is sustained through generations.

Wurundjeri Elder Uncle David Wandin and Dja Dja Wurrung CEO, Rodney Carter, who were both major contributors to the Strategy, spoke at the launch about the important role of fire in healing and managing Country.

The Strategy will help provide a policy directive and framework across Victoria’s fire and land management agencies to support Traditional Owners to undertake cultural burning for the range of cultural values entailed by caring for Country.

The six principles that underpin the strategy are:

  • Principle 1: Cultural burning is Right Fire, Right Time, Right Way and for the right (cultural reasons) according to Lore.
  • Principle 2: Burning is a cultural responsibility.
  • Principle 3: Cultural fire is living knowledge.
  • Principle 4: Monitoring, evaluation and research support cultural fire objectives and enable adaptive learning.
  • Principle 5: Country is managed holistically.
  • Principle 6: Cultural fire is healing.

This Strategy was authored by Victorian Traditional Owners with the support of a partnership between the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations (FVTOC), DELWP, Parks Victoria and CFA.

Over 50 Traditional Owners and Aboriginal fire knowledge holders from across Victoria, who formed the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Knowledge Holder group, contributed to the development of the Strategy, including Aboriginal staff from DELWP, Parks Victoria and CFA.

The Strategy builds on many local partnerships that have been developed over the past five years between Traditional Owners and fire and land management agencies. In 2018, FFMVic enabled Traditional Owners to plan and lead a number of cultural burns on public land across Victoria with more planned for the future. Through providing operational and planning support to Traditional Owners to use cultural fire on Country, DELWP contributes to the connecting country goals measured by the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework.

Traditional Owners will lead the implementation of the Strategy, with support from DELWP, PV and CFA.

You can read the Victorian Traditional Owner Fire Strategy in full here.

Page last updated: 09/09/19