Protecting our Places grants awarded and project summaries

This program provides funds to Aboriginal groups to carry out projects to protect land and water, or run education programs.

Project summaries

In 2019 the Environmental Trust awarded grants to 11 projects totalling $584,334.

Organisation Project title Amount $
Albury and District Local Aboriginal Land Council Gilah Gardens – turning a paddock into a habitat garden $49,000
Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council Restoring, Maintaining and Protecting Country at Morisset $60,000
Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council Pippi Beach Renewal $59,550
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council Darkinjung Mirring Women Muree (the fire spirit) Warre Warren Project $52,500
Firestick Alliance Indigenous Corporation Djamaga ganji (Good Fire) $60,000
Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council (GLALC) Mt Keira Cultural Restoration $57,700
Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation Going Bingings – protecting freshwater turtles from the impact of cane toads $60,000
Minyumai Land Holding Aboriginal Corporation Restoring Minyumai's Rainforest Gullies and Grassy Slopes $47,500
Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council Wattle Ridge IPA Cultural Walk Improvement $58,500
Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation Rewilding Sydney's remnant Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub $59,444
Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council Protection of a NSW endangered species, Senecio spathulatus, in Stockton's dynamic dunal system $20,140
11 projects totalling $584,334

Albury and District Local Aboriginal Land Council

Gilah Gardens – turning a paddock into a habitat garden – $49,000

This project involves developing Gilah Gardens, a habitat link extending the Box-Gum Woodland of the nearby Nail Can Hill into the suburbs of Albury. The restored habitat will not only be an important stepping stone to other remnant patches to the north of Albury, but an accessible place for the local community to experience nature and a place for teaching and learning. Nail Can Hill has high conservation value and is an important area of native vegetation in the heart of Albury. Gilah Gardens will convert a grassy paddock with some remnant trees into a nature experience accessible to the whole community.

Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council

Restoring, Maintaining and Protecting Country at Morisset – $60,000

The project aims to enhance the cultural landscape of the property resulting in the return of local flora and to increase natural resources available for local fauna. This will be achieved at the site by increasing connection to Country by the local Aboriginal community, encouraging natural regeneration, planting and protecting the site from unauthorised visitors, such as 4WD enthusiasts, tourists and amateur hunters.

Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council

Pippi Beach Renewal – $59,550

The project site occupies a highly culturally significant 10 hectare area overlooking the iconic Pippi Beach in Yamba. The site has become extremely degraded from illegal and inappropriate use over time due to new residential development and resultant population growth. The aim of this project is to restrict unauthorised vehicular access through the installation of a boom-gate and rock barriers, as well as post-and-rail and wildlife-friendly fencing where appropriate and practicable. In addition, the project seeks to treat weeds, regenerate local bushland, rationalise existing tracks and install interpretive and educational signage to encourage 'all of community' usage, appreciation and enjoyment.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

Darkinjung Mirring Women Muree (the fire spirit) Warre Warren Project – $52,500

In a partnership between local Darkinjung women and the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council, this project seeks to protect the Muree (the fire spirit) Warre Warren Aboriginal Women's Cultural Heritage Place by controlling weed infestation and improving biodiversity, while capturing and recording Aboriginal cultural knowledge significant to the area. The project will train Aboriginal people (mostly women) in conservation and land management practices through such activities as the use of cultural burning and traditional knowledge sharing between Aboriginal Elders, youth and the community.

Firestick Alliance Indigenous Corporation

Djamaga ganji (Good Fire) – $60,000

The project will use cultural fire practice to undertake a strategic approach to protect threatened species, control local weed species, reduce fire hazard fuels, revive traditional Aboriginal landscape values and restore native vegetation to improve biodiversity outcomes. Aboriginal knowledge and practice will be incorporated into a land management approach in a way that understands, recognises and protects the significant natural and cultural heritage values, and where appropriate, can help educate the community about these values and practices. The project aims to develop an inclusive and co-operative approach toward involving local Aboriginal people in decision-making processes and on-ground programs associated with managing land, revising traditional ecological knowledge and practices.

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Mt Keira Cultural Restoration – $57,700

The project would involve implementation of components of the Wollongong City Council's Mt Keira Summit Plan of Management. The site has issues with weed infestations along existing working trails and amenity areas. There is also a need to revegetate areas to enhance the native flora with a focus on planting traditional bush food, medicine and plants that provided resources for everyday cultural use. The installation of interpretative signage will also form part of the project and will focus on cultural heritage and traditional stories relating to the area. The project also aims to enhance the experience through conducting community days that will include tours where the purpose, use of the environment and linkages to local stories are explained.

Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation

Going Bingings – protecting freshwater turtles from the impact of cane toads – $60,000

The 'Going Bingings' project will enhance the capacity of Bundjalung people to manage the impact of cane toad incursion in parts of the Richmond and Clarence River catchments by focussing on monitoring the health of freshwater turtle species. Turtles are a culturally significant species in the region and the practice of turtle hunting called 'going bingings' is highly valued. Cane toads are toxic to many species including turtles. An informative workshop and educational resources will be developed drawing on turtle and cane toad ecology, local indigenous ecological knowledge and oral history. These resources will be shared in Bundjalung communities facing the threat of cane toad incursion. Four Aboriginal people will undertake on-site training to monitor a range of impacts on turtle populations and carry out cane toad control on Aboriginal land.

Minyumai Land Holding Aboriginal Corporation

Restoring Minyumai's Rainforest Gullies and Grassy Slopes –$47,500

The project will use assisted regeneration approaches (using a combination of herbicide and manual treatments) to restore 4 significant patches of remnant coastal subtropical rainforest and conduct burns to restore grassy habitats on 15 ha in the southern conservation zone of the Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). The project will be undertaken by the current Minyumai Aboriginal ranger team (and 2 unemployed Aboriginal youth) and overseen by Bandjalang Elders, the IPA Board of Directors and key partners.

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council

Wattle Ridge IPA Cultural Walk Improvement – $58,500

The project will facilitate increased access to and protection of culturally and environmentally significant sites at the Wattle Ridge Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). Activities include increasing/improving infrastructure including platforms, boardwalks, steps and bridges along 3 main walking tracks and installing interpretive signage around the areas with significant environmental/geological features. The project will contribute to the IPA's long term eco-tourism aspirations including community engagement, attracting tour groups, guided walking tours, bush tucker talks and sharing of cultural and ecological knowledge. The project will also build the skills and capacity of the IPA's Aboriginal Rangers to build eco-tourism infrastructure and protect the environment.

Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation

Rewilding Sydney's remnant Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub – $59,444

The Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) is a listed Critically Endangered Community in NSW and was estimated to have once occupied around 5,300 hectares of land between North Head and Botany Bay in Sydney's eastern suburbs. At present approximately 146ha survives. This project will provide an opportunity for local Aboriginal communities to engage in the environmental protection and conservation of the Parklands and in restoring this significant ecological community. This will be undertaken by enhancing the site's biodiversity through the removal of invasive weeds, allowing natural regeneration and rehabilitating badly eroded sites with brush-matting and direct seeding. The project also seeks to educate the general public about the ESBS vegetation community, local Aboriginal history, develop partnerships and mentor and upskill local Aboriginal people in environmental management.

Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protection of a NSW endangered species, Senecio spathulatus, in Stockton's dynamic dunal system – $20,140

The objective of the project is to increase the size and resilience of the threatened Senecio spatulatus in and around the fore-dunes at Stockton Bite. A combined Worimi/National Parks and Wildlife Service survey will provide a better understanding of population size and distribution of this species. Removal of invasive species will allow the species to complete its life cycle and expand its range. The erection of signage will assist the Worimi and National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers to direct beachgoers and 4WD traffic away from the vicinity of the plant. It will also assist in the ongoing protection of the larger lagoon area, the dunes freshwater source.

In 2018 the Environmental Trust awarded grants to 11 projects totalling $594,770

Organisation Project title Amount $

Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council

Cultural Land Management - Protecting Threatened Flora & Fauna

$59,620

Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protecting Koalas, Threatened Species and TECs at Mylestom

$58,800

Firestick Alliance Indigenous Corporation (Southern Yuin Firesticks)

Burning For Healthy Country - Not Hectares

$60,000

The Gully Traditional Owners (GTO)

Garguree Swampcare Stage 4

$55,500

Guyra Local Aboriginal Land Council (GLALC)

Guyra Lookout - reestablishment of an EEC

$30,350

Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation

Good Fire on Helmet Grassy Habitats

$60,000

Mogo Local Aboriginal Land council

Grandfathers Gully Land regeneration and Midden Protection

$60,000

Muli Muli Local Aboriginal Land Council

Looking After Country- Acknowledging our Old People

$40,000

Nunnawanna Aboriginal Corporation

Caring for Gostwyck Grinding Grooves

$50,500

Old Brewarrina Mission Working Group

Old Brewarrina Mission Restoration Project

$60,000

Toomelah Local Aboriginal Land Council

Renewal of Red River Gum Forest Habitat

$60,000

11 projects totalling

$594,770

Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council

Cultural Land Management - Protecting Threatened Flora & Fauna – $59,620

The project seeks to protect threatened and vulnerable species and target feral animals under the development of a Land Management Plan. The project will improve habitats through cultural burns, rehabilitating degraded land preventing further loss of habitat and protect the environmental flora and fauna by re-establishing lost traditional practices using fire to heal the country, with proper fore management as an essential part of this process.

Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protecting Koalas, Threatened Species and TECs at Mylestom – $58,800

The project aims to protect and restore high conservation value habitats at Mylestom including critically endangered ecological communities, the habitat of multiple threatened species, including important koala habitat, and culturally significant landscapes by implementing ecological restoration and sustainable fire management. This property contains 5 or more threatened ecological communities and the habitat of 10 known threatened species, connects the Bellinger River, Bellinger Heads State Park and Bongil Bongil NP, provides major coastal and hinterland corridors and contains patches of old-growth forest. Active weed management, as a top priority, and sustainable fire management will be delivered by this project with a systematic monitoring of all works.

Firestick Alliance Indigenous Corporation (Southern Yuin Firesticks)

Burning For Healthy Country - Not Hectares – $60,000

This project is to develop a long-term Cultural Burning Program within the Southern Yuin Nation that supports Cultural Burning practice to take place within threatened species habitats and connect community back to country. The project will enable Cultural Burning Crews and Traditional Owners to work together alongside NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Rural Fire Service (RFS) staff within the Murrah Flora Reserve, to improve the health of the local area by protecting, enhancing and supporting threatened species habitats, such as a significant koala population, the long-nosed potoroo, the yellow-bellied glider and the powerful owl, while reducing fuel loads. The project will seek to reduce extreme fuel loads by providing an alternative approach to current Hazard Reduction block burning methods.

The Gully Traditional Owners (GTO)

Garguree Swampcare Stage 4 – $55,500

Garguree Swampcare Stage 4 project will build on the NSW Indigenous Landcare award winning Garguree Swampcare stage 1-3 and include a significant Blue Mountains Swamp/Riparian Corridor restoration project in the upper McCraes Paddock/Lower Frank Walford sections of the Gully Aboriginal Place. The project will include bush regeneration and streambank stabilisation components such as weed control and planting a habitat enhancement vegetation buffer around Catalina Lake to improve the native fauna habitat, and a training program to enhance The Gully Traditional Owners co-management and land management capacity and support cultural awareness events and workshops. The Gully Traditional Owners will share their stories and cultural knowledge and invite the broader Blue Mountains community including schools, to work alongside them to restore The Gully Aboriginal Place and develop the Gully as a key focal point for practical reconciliation in the Blue Mountains.

Guyra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Guyra Lookout - reestablishment of an EEC – $30,350

This project will improve an already existing and self-regenerating planting that can emulate an endangered ecological community in time by assisting the very specific ways the land and plants were able to catch, hold and store water to support a diverse population of bird and animal species. The project’s planting will surround a Lookout overlooking the Mother of Ducks Lagoon, on land of significant to the local Aboriginal people. The goal is to re-establish the endangered ecological community consisting of two areas of land, the Ribbon-Mountain-Snowy Gum grassy woodland to an already self-regenerating, recovering grassy woodland community of this type located to the east of the site and the Mother of Ducks Lagoon. The project also aims to provide opportunities for local Aboriginal communities to support, participate and help maintain the reestablishment, restoration and protection of native vegetation of an endangered ecological community, for current generations to enjoy, appreciate and care for now and into the future.

Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation&

Good Fire on Helmet Grassy Habitats – >$60,000

The Good Fire on Helmet Grassy Habitats project will implement cultural fire and land management practices to restore and protect the grassy habitat values and dependent species on the Guggin Guddubah Local Aboriginal Land Council property known as "The Helmet". The project aims to work with local land holders and community to reduce the degradation of and improve native grassy open forest and woodland of high conservation value through a fire management plan and regeneration and weed control activities. This will protect and enhance forest structure and threatened species populations and their habitat.  The property has known threatened species and is a habitat for Eastern Bristlebird, Koala, Brush Tailed Phascogale, Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl, and Glossy Black-Cockatoo, and the Hastings River Mouse.

Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council

Grandfathers Gully Land regeneration and Midden Protection – $60,000

This project is a joint venture between Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council & Batemans Bay Aboriginal Land Council and their respective Environmental Rangers Teams to rehabilitate the cultural and historical resource area called 'Grandfathers Gully', which is a significant site to the local Aboriginal community. The project will include surveys and management plans of the area for invasive and native flora & fauna to assess species of cultural & biological significance for protection.  A survey of sites of cultural significant will be conducted & the results recorded in the AHIMS database. Midden restoration works, including revegetation to reduce erosion of a midden caused by environmental and human influences, will be carried out. Cultural burns to regenerate & rejuvenate lost or dormant endemic species will also be used with the necessary associate cultural practices to enhance the cultural values of the land.

Muli Muli Local Aboriginal Land Council

Looking After Country- Acknowledging our Old People – $40,000

This project aims to regenerate an old tip site to prevent ongoing environmental erosion and look after Country adjacent to the cemetery, a significant Aboriginal site to the Muli Muli community where the old people are buried in traditional bark wrap. The project will work with the Githabul Rangers Junior Ranger program to help restore the wetland that is filling up with soil and getting the old landfill site stable through native revegetation activities to help stop the soil washing into the swamp at the NE boundary.

Nunnawanna Aboriginal Corporation

Caring for Gostwyck Grinding Grooves – $50,500

The project will enable the Nunnawanna Aboriginal Corporation, the University of New England and Anaiwan people to work together to develop and implement a sustainable heritage site management plan to prevent environmental degradation of a newly-discovered axe-manufacturing grinding grooves near Armidale in northern NSW. Including investigating the physical and chronological extent of this rare set of grinding grooves, the project will to protect the site and design interpretive material for brochures and a photographic display in Armidale. This project aims to improve knowledge of cultural sites to the broader community, train Aboriginal participants in site research and management and will contribute to the practice of community heritage engagement, helping to ‘close the gap’ in education for young Aboriginal people.

Old Brewarrina Mission Working Group

Old Brewarrina Mission Restoration Project – $60,000

The Old Brewarrina Mission Restoration Project aims to safeguard the heritage listed Old Brewarrina Mission through environmental restoration and facilitate social and cultural connections through caring for and being on Country. The project will consult with community about a plan of works to restore the site including clean-up, fencing to protect significant sites from feral animals, erosion control and signage, with billabong restoration and invasive weed control to repair the integrity of the Barwon river banks as additional priorities for the areas to be safely enjoyed by community into the future.

Toomelah Local Aboriginal Land Council

Renewal of Red River Gum Forest Habitat – $60,000

The Red River Gum Forests of the Toomelah Local Aboriginal Lands Council reserve are an outstanding regional remnant of riverine red river gum woodland. The project will engage in revegetation and weed control activities that protect and enhance biodiversity of this remnant habitat that is fast disappearing due to infrastructure and farmland developments in the region and simultaneously provide education and training opportunities for sharing cultural knowledge associated with Country. The reserve provides habitat for the elsewhere regionally extinct pheasant coucal, an important totemic animal linking Toomelah Kamilaroi Tribes to Aboriginal Tribes further east and north east and will support koala habitats.

In the 2017–18 round the Environmental Trust awarded 12 grants, totalling $707,471.


Organisation Project title Amount $
Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council Rocky Knob revegetation and fox baiting project 64,755
Biamanga National Park Board of Management Cultural burning program in the South Eastern NSW Murrah landscape 60,000
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council Illegal access management and track rehabilitation 64,956
Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council Mallison Road restoration and rehabilitation project 63,000
Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council Protecting the Grotto Point Engraving site 37,000
Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council Mogo midden and mangrove rehabilitation and protection 34,600
Mothers Ancestral Guardians Indigenous Corporation Restoring cultural practice for country in Rick Farley Reserve 58,200
Murrin Bridge Local Aboriginal Land Council Managing biodiversity on Barooga Karrai 64,960
Mutawintji Aboriginal Lands Council Culture and conservation in the Far West NSW 65,000
Muurrabay Bundani Aboriginal Corporation Protection and enhancement of Gumbayngirr Nation cultural sites 65,000
Northern Rivers Connecting Country Alliance
Aboriginal Corporation
Grassy cultural pathways at Dorrobbee Grasslands Reserve 65,000
Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Corporation Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) cultural fire practices 65,000
12 grants totalling $707,471

Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council

Rocky Knob revegetation and fox baiting project – $64,755

Rocky Knob is a significant cultural site for the Awabakal people, and forms part of Hexham Swamp which is listed as a significant wetland in NSW and nationally. The project will focus on revegetation as a buffer to surrounding residential development, and implementing a 1080 vertebrate pest control program to reduce threats to wetland and migratory bird species. The project will also provide the Awabakal community opportunities for training and employment in natural resource management works, focused on protecting and restoring a significant cultural site on their country.

Biamanga National Park Board of Management

Cultural burning program in the SENSW Murrah landscape – $60,000

The project aims to enable Aboriginal traditional owners to fulfil aspirations to bring back traditional fire-management practices in the landscape while also contributing to meeting hazard-reduction targets, protecting threatened species and enhancing habitat. The principal outcomes will include:

  • fuel hazard and ecological data collection at each of the proposed burn patches for monitoring purposes
  • creation of low-fuel buffers around each proposed burn patch
  • contributing to the Murrah Landscape Fire Management Strategy for the protection of saplings of Eucalyptus longifolia (the main koala browse species) within and near the proposed burn areas
  • increase protection of habitat used by the long-nosed potoroo
  • application of local cultural knowledge to bring back traditional fire-management practices, in a way that integrates with the existing landscapes fire-management strategy.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council

Illegal access management and track rehabilitation – $64,956

The project aims to protect cultural and environmental assets by ceasing illegal activities and environmental destruction, and to restore tracks and landforms by controlling water entering disturbed areas. Project rehabilitation activities will encourage the regeneration of vegetation and habitat in disturbed areas, and provide immediate barriers to illegal access. The volunteer training component aims to establish networks and dialogue between Darkinjung LALC and members of the Aboriginal community and to create the foundations of a paid Green Team to help manage these issues in the future.

Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council

Mallison Road restoration and rehabilitation project – $63,000

The project seeks to revitalize the land through cultural burning to stimulate native seed stock, remove invasive weed species, planting of native species and rehabilitation of eroded areas. Additional project objectives include helping the exchange of natural and cultural information between the Aboriginal community and environmental experts, and building capacity and understanding amongst the Aboriginal community to care for and manage threats to Country.

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protecting the Grotto Point Engraving site – $58,200

The project seeks to protect the Grotto Point engraving site through management of access and water entering and leaving the site and replacing educational signage to improve and reflect understanding of the sites unique cultural values.

Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council

Mogo midden and mangrove rehabilitation and protection – $34,600

This project will rehabilitate a registered midden of cultural and historical significance to the local Mogo Aboriginal community. The midden has been degraded by rabbits, which have caused considerable erosion at the site. Project activities will be implemented by the Mogo Environmental Rangers, who will work with the Local Land Services and Eurobodalla Shire Council to eradicate rabbits, control erosion and propagate and plant mangroves at the site.

Mothers Ancestral Guardians Indigenous Corporation

Restoring cultural practice for country in Rick Farley Reserve – $58,200

This project will create opportunities for Aboriginal people to share and apply cultural knowledge to improve habitat diversity and resilience as well as eradicate pests across 12,000 hectares of culturally significant Mallee land. Application of cultural practice (including cool burns) will be used to address environmental issues and deliver long-term benefits for Aboriginal communities and their environment.

Murrin Bridge Local Aboriginal Land Council

Managing biodiversity on Barooga Karrai – $64,960

A range of land-management activities will be implemented within highly significant floodplain forest remnants on the Barooga Karrai property in central western NSW to assist multiple threatened species and endangered ecological communities. On-ground activities seek to restore and rehabilitate degraded habitat and create connectivity for species and communities of significance across the property.

Mutawintji Aboriginal Lands Council

Culture and conservation in the Far West NSW – $65,000

The project focuses on a 400-hectare block (out of 960 hectares) of high-conservation-value rangeland that is being degraded by uncontrolled/unmanaged grazing, mostly by goats, sheep and cattle. Project activities such as livestock exclusion and management, vertebrate control and weed treatment will seek to address these threats and encourage natural regeneration. Cultural land-management techniques will also be applied and documented with traditional knowledge of endemic plants and animals shared with surrounding schools, environmental groups and committed volunteers.

Muurrabay Bundani Aboriginal Corporation

Protection and enhancement of Gumbayngirr Nation cultural sites – $65,000

The project will focus upon restoration of a Gumbayngirr ceremony place by improving access to Country, reducing the density of weeds and other invasive vegetation, and improving the fauna and habitat values. It is hoped that implementation of the project with Clarence Landcare will facilitate the professional and technical development of our Corporation and training of local Aboriginal people interested in managing projects on Country.

Northern Rivers Connecting Country Alliance Aboriginal Corporation

Grassy cultural pathways at Dorrobbee Grasslands Reserve – $65,000

The Grassy Cultural Pathways at Dorrobbee Grasslands Reserve project aims to build recognition of grassy ecosystem values and the important role Aboriginal cultural land-management practices play in maintaining healthy landscapes. Embedded across the landscapes of north-eastern NSW are remnant islands of fire-dependent grassy woodlands surrounded by rainforest and other wet forest types. These islands are often traditional Aboriginal camping and traveling routes that are now key habitat for a range of culturally significant and threatened species.

This project will apply targeted fire regimes and monitor the response of vegetation on the Dorrobbee Grasslands Reserve. It will involve cultural gatherings that bring together current and aspirational cultural fire projects to learn and burn together. The gatherings will also consider a regional approach to cultural fire management in north-eastern NSW, leading to improved fire management and contribute to recovery of threatened species and cultural connections to Country.

Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Corporation

Onerwal LALC cultural fire practices – $65,000

This project will introduce cultural fire practices to members of the Onerwal LALC and the community of Yass. Fire is an important tool within Aboriginal culture; fire management is how Aboriginal people care for Country. Burning creates a variety of habitats for plants and animals to return to. Managing fire requires knowledge of where to burn, when to burn and how to burn.

This project will educate local Aboriginal people about the cultural use of fire to enhance and protect the natural environment. The timing of fire management is critical and needs to happen at the right time of the year. Aboriginal people can read the land to determine which areas need fire management.

This program was not run in 2015-16.

In the 2014 round the Environmental Trust approved 18 grants, totalling $586,095.


Organisation Project title Amount $

Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council

Awabakal LALC midden protection project

29,992

Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council

Murramarang Aboriginal Area site protection and rehabilitation

33,700

Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council

Woods Point restoration project

31,000

Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protecting the EEC's in the estuarine zone at Arrawarra Creek

35,000

Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council

AWAY – Aboriginal women and yamfields

34,975

Gulaga National Park Board Management

Gulaga National Park walking track upgrade project

35,000

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Picnic Island restoration project 34,248

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Sandon Point Aboriginal Place restoration 34,918

Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council

Bujimbay Land Restoration

31,605

Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council

Grafton Ngerrie LALC site protection and land management

35,000

Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation

Protection and preservation of sites in Yarriabini National Park

34,971

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council Gagil minan – marrabaa minan (bad weed – good weed)

21,797

The Gully Traditional Owners The Garguree Swampcare Stage 3

34,764

Thunderstone Aboriginal and Cultural
Land Management Services

Community education re Aboriginal heritage in Greater Goorooyaroo

34,756

Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council

Restoration works stage 1 Marshalls Creek Nature Reserve

34,998

Weilwan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Gulargambone 'Old Reserve' restoration

19,421

Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council

Educate, enhance, and protect our community

35,000

Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre
Aboriginal Corporation

Deniliquin Island Sanctuary and Aljoes Creek

34,950

18 projects totalling

$586,095

Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council

Awabakal LALC midden protection project – $29,992

Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council aims to bring the environment back to its original state (i.e. its state before the introduction of exotic weed species). The project will achieve aims including:

  • maintaining biodiversity
  • stabilisation of the site with native vegetation
  • increased education to the wider community on Aboriginal midden sites
  • cultural site assessment and knowledge as to the extent of the midden
  • maintenance of an Aboriginal cultural site
  • skills development of Aboriginal community members, elders and youth in land management
  • skills development of Aboriginal people in Aboriginal site assessments.

Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council

Murramarang Aboriginal Area site protection and rehabilitation – $33,700

This project aims to achieve 2 outcomes. The first is to protect a midden by installing viewing platforms and reinforcing fencing that will keep visitors out. Many artefacts are still present on the site and the temptation for visitors to walk through the midden is high. Many of the artefacts, including shells, shatter when walked on. Artefacts such as flakes and cores are vulnerable to damage and are also at risk of becoming souvenirs. Building 2 viewing platforms will provide the public with a good vantage point where they can see the extent of the midden without getting too close.

The second outcome to be achieved would be to halt and contain the spread of exotic grasses and rushes throughout the Murramarang Aboriginal Area to protect an endangered ecological community (Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest).

Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council

Woods Point restoration project – $31,000

This project involves on-ground bush regeneration of 15 hectares, aimed at conserving and protecting the Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest endangered ecological community (EEC) and Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains EEC from key threatening processes (namely lantana and exotic vines). A large area of the Lake Macquarie shoreline, formerly Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest that had been disturbed by previous land use, will be restored by planting 400 local-provenance native trees. The project will protect a Resting Place for burial of ancestral remains, a declared Aboriginal Place, and middens. The project will employ Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council as contractors for weed control and planting of native trees. Once the project is completed, a site visit will re-establish the cultural connection for elders, contractors families and the Aboriginal community.

Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council

Protecting endangered ecological communities in the estuarine zone at Arrawarra Creek – $35,000

The project aims to look after this country by restricting vehicular access to formed tracks and parking areas. This will allow the local native vegetation to regenerate, protect the mudflats and tidal interface, reduce sedimentation of the creek from runoff and increase the resilience of the site. Advice from the Soil Conservation Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service will ensure effective vehicle-control measures (boulders and road base). The current resilience of the site will facilitate natural regeneration once disturbances have been excluded. Weed control along the edges of the vehicle track will also be undertaken.

Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council

AWAY: Aboriginal women and yam fields – $34,975

Up to 3 trainees and 10–20 Aboriginal girls in the local high schools will be provided with opportunities to relearn the cultural importance of yams and other cultural plants. This knowledge will be gained through field trips working in remnant yam fields with Elders and other knowledge holders. This cultural knowledge and hands-on learning will be combined with training from national experts on the ecology of grasslands, seed collection, plant propagation and restoration. Ultimately these skills will be used to increase both the numbers of yams that occur along the Bundian Way and the role of cultural management in their long-term persistence.

Gulaga National Park Board Management

Gulaga National Park walking track upgrade project – $35,000

This project will protect the area for future generations through upgrading the walking track so that it protects sites of cultural and environmental significance. The project includes clearing and upgrading a 1.6-kilometre circular walking track from the Central Tilba village area into the newly acquired Bellbrook Farm addition to Gulaga National Park.

The current track is not safe to use. This leads to visitors going off track, causing further damage to the local environment. This project will protect the places of cultural significance in the vicinity by allowing visitors to access the mountain in a manner that is culturally and environmentally respectful.

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Picnic Island restoration project – $34,248

Primary and secondary weed control will be conducted over the whole island with ongoing maintenance weeding conducted by a regular Bushcare group facilitated by Shellharbour Council. Woody weeds will be controlled, natives will regenerate. Supplementary planting will increase the density of the shrub layer, supress weed growth and increase the diversity of native species. This will greatly improve the condition and viability of the endangered ecological communities present. Eight community field days will be conducted, facilitated by the project coordinator in collaboration with Shellharbour Council staff and will include a catered bush tucker picnic, planting days and 2 Aboriginal interpretation days where residents can hear about Lake Illawarra and the area. Employment and training will be provided to the Aboriginal community through Birrum Nuru conducting the restoration works.

Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Sandon Point Aboriginal place restoration – $34,918

We propose to remove vine weeds such as coastal morning glory, Japanese honeysuckle and madeira vine as well as other perennial weeds including blackberry, asparagus fern and mother of millions.

Revegetation will include replacement of canopy species that have been vandalised as well as planting within previously vegetated areas to establish a dense understorey to improve native fauna habitat and suppress weed growth. The project will also include signage to inform the public of the cultural significance and sensitivity of the area. The project will involve planting and weed buster days as well as cultural interpretation such as bush tucker walks with local Public Schools including Thirroul Public. The works will be conducted by the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council Green Team Birrum Nuru, providing training and employment opportunities for the Aboriginal community.

Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council

Bujimbay Land Restoration – $31,605

This project will remove illegally dumped waste which is impacting on the sites natural values of soil, water and native vegetation and habitat for a diversity of native fauna species. Illegal rubbish dumping will be deterred by stopping vehicle access to the property. Signs will be erected to educate the public of the implications for illegal rubbish dumping and provide information about alternatives. The removal and recycling operation will incorporate best practice in correct recycling, resource recovery and disposal options. A training workshop for Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council and Muurrbay Bundani Aboriginal Corporation men in wild-dog monitoring skills and implementing a control program on this land will benefit the local community in skill development and have a positive benefit on the local native fauna.

Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council

Grafton Ngerrie LALC site protection and land management – $35,000

Clevermen burial sites in Nymboida will be protected from being driven over from the installation of bollards and a locked gate. Training in native plant and weed identification and control methods will enable Aboriginal land managers and trainee Aboriginal bush regenerators to implement best riparian management practices on significant waterways in the Clarence catchment. Control of environmental weeds will provide longer-term environmental benefits including reducing smothering weeds on good-quality native vegetation, stabilising stream banks and improving water quality.

Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation

Protection and preservation of sites in Yarriabini National Park – $34,971

Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporations project will preserve and pass down cultural sites in a more pristine condition into the future, for their historical and significance values. Work will be carried out to reduce the impact of weeds of national significance on the important cultural sites, endangered ecological communities and threatened plant species.

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council

Gagil minan – marrabaa minan (bad weed – good weed) – $21,797

The project will see experienced Aboriginal weaver Ronella Dolly Jerome and the Department of Primary Industries facilitate two 4-day workshops with Tamworth women and youth to identify native species and their suitability as traditional weaving materials. The workshops will also have a strong focus on Weeds of National Significance (WoNS), including how to identify, safely remove and dispose of them. The project will assist in restoring and protecting the project sites environmental and cultural significance by running cross-generational workshops that educate the participants on how to:

  • collect native plants in a way that minimise impacts on the environment, ensuring that the plants will continue to grow and reproduce
  • use native plants as traditional weaving materials.

Sessions by Local Land Services will identify their role in protecting native species and eradicating WoNS.

The Gully Traditional Owners

Garguree swampcare stage 3 – $34,764

The installation of the racetrack in 1957 resulted in bulldozing of The Gully settlement and extensive damage to the bushland and Blue Mountains Swamps of the Gully. In 2011, The Gully Traditional Owners Incorporated formed Garguree Swampcare, an Aboriginal Bushcare group dedicated to the restoration of the Blue Mountains Swamp systems and surrounding bushland of The Gully Aboriginal place. Garguree Swampcare has steadily grown in strength and now attracts 35–50 participants every month. Stage 3 will be focused on continuing the growth and momentum of this highly successful and motivated group, and further developing the land-management skills of The Gully Traditional Owners. It will continue the progressive restoration of the culturally significant swamps, their buffers and adjacent bushland in the area where The Gully Settlement once stood, including an additional 6.2 hectares of swamp and bushland.

Thunderstone Aboriginal and Cultural Land Management Services

Community education regarding Aboriginal heritage in Greater Goorooyaroo – $34,756

This project will enable community education regarding Aboriginal values of the environment in the Greater Goorooyaroo to provide an essential component of the restoration and rehabilitation plan for the ecologically significant Box Gum Woodland in the area. It builds on a successful model of community education, developed by Thunderstone and partner organisations over the last 18 months. The project has 3 key aspects:

  • identification of Aboriginal values in the Greater Goorooyaroo area that are appropriate for community education
  • a series of 12 interpretive walks/workshops focused on the cultural values of the area
  • production of audiovisual web publications regarding the Aboriginal cultural heritage and values of land in the region.

Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council

Restoration works, stage 1: Marshalls Creek Nature Reserve – $34,998

Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Councils project will protect biodiversity by reducing the weed threat while working on Country. The local community will be educated about local native species and the weeds that threaten them. Removal of the weeds will allow for natural regeneration of prime koala habitat and the endangered ecological community Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Floodplain.

All works will be done in accordance with the following approved plans:

  • Billinudgel Nature Reserve Plan of Management
  • Weed Control Strategies for Billinudgel Nature Reserve
  • Marshalls Creek Nature Reserve Plan of Management
  • Marshalls Creek Nature Reserve Weed Control Strategy.

Weilwan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Gulargambone ‘Old Reserve’ restoration – $19,421

This project will begin a needs assessment and action plan to improve and develop this large parcel of Indigenous-owned land. Activities will include:

  • identifyng and removing or eradicating woody weeds, noxious weeds and animal pests. Clearing all undesirable vegetation
  • replacing existing fences where possible
  • investigating bulk water access
  • identifying existing culturally significant plants and trees (for medicines and ceremonial use) and planting more traditional bushes, plants and trees
  • providing signage for all culturally significant plants and trees and identifying locations of Indigenous dwellings destroyed in the 1970s.

This valuable community-owned asset is to be maintained and improved for future generations and made accessible and desirable for all community members (and possibly even tourists) to enjoy.

Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council

Educate, enhance and protect our community – $35,000

The project will aim to remove illegal access and activities, resulting in the removal of risks to the biodiversity and cultural landscape. This will be achieved by the installation of an efficient gate and fencing system. Commencing at the source, Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) intend to secure the site from further illegal access and commence rehabilitation by removing rubbish, revegetating 4WD tracks, stopping soil erosion and creating an inventory of the cultural and environmental assets of the site. Re-vegetation activities will engage the expertise of ecologists and an archaeologist. The Worimi LALC Heritage Nursery will be utilised to propagate and raise seeds that are collected from the site. This project delivers a range of environmental and cultural co-benefits, including education, training, and community awareness.

Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation

Deniliquin Island Sanctuary and Aljoes Creek – $34,950

This project aims to achieve a renewed recognition of the importance of the local wetlands with the removal of introduced species including; black willow (Salix nigra), broad-leaved pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius), and date palm (Phoenix dactyliferas). These species have spread from local gardens and now impede water flow and create a significant problem at the end of a water system draining from the Deniliquin township. The Island Sanctuary is an important location for education and tourism and has been the focus of the local Indigenous community for demonstrating the importance of local wetlands containing medicine and fibre plants.