Better protection for cultural landscapes and waterways

Marking NAIDOC Week, more than $550,000 has been granted to Aboriginal communities and organisations to tackle local environmental and cultural priorities.

The view of Lake Illawarra from Mount Kembla Lookout in the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.

NSW Environmental Trust spokesperson Leah Andrews said this year's 7 successful 'Protecting our Places' grants not only highlight the diversity of NSW's cultural landscapes but also the importance of community directly managing Country.

"We are so pleased to support these projects that range from creating a community cultural garden to protecting the critically endangered Plains Wanderer and restoring bushland, rainforests, creeks and estuaries," Ms Andrews said.

"These Environmental Trust grants, now in their twentieth year, provide around $500,000 a year to Aboriginal organisations to support projects that recognise the history of place, cultural traditions and ecological values.

"This year we celebrate 'getting up, standing up and showing up' by backing communities to care for Country their way, under their terms and to address their priorities.

"All these projects integrate cultural traditions with ecological values and will restore landscapes that have meaning and purpose for future generations," Ms Andrews said.

The 7 successful 2022 Protecting our Places grant recipients are:

  • Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service Ltd awarded $80,000 to construct a local Community Cultural Garden with traditional bush tucker, healing plants and a yarning space.
  • Blue Mountains Dharug Association awarded $78,800 to continue the 'Healthy Dharug Ngurra Project' engaging Aboriginal contractors to reconnect to Country, undertake bush regeneration and protect cultural sites across the Blue Mountains.
  • Bundjalung Tribal Society Ltd awarded $79,990 to expand ecological restoration, interpretive placemaking and a 'living cultural centre' along the Youngman Creek corridor that contains Lowland Subtropical Rainforest.
  • Dorodong Association Incorporated awarded $80,000 for the Indigenous Protected Area Cultural Restoration Project. Located near Dorrigo, this project will restore the area, promote Aboriginal employment and cultural education.
  • Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council awarded $80,000 to restore the Lake Illawarra Entrance, a culturally significant landscape central to the creation story of the arrival of the Dharawal people in the Illawarra.
  • Nari Nari Tribal Council awarded $78,900 to continue their 'Back from the Brink – Hay Plains Plains Wanderer Protection Project', enhancing 8,000 hectares of species habitat across Aboriginal owned lands west of Hay.
  • Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council awarded $80,000 to perform essential cultural burning and other activities to preserve the riparian zones and mangrove-wetlands at Ya Waarra, outside Nambucca Heads.

For more information about the successful grantees, their projects and the Environmental Trust, visit: Protecting our Places.