Community knowledge and culture day to help save Malleefowl

Australia's leading Malleefowl scientists, local Aboriginal Elders, socio-cultural scientists, landholders and government experts will share their knowledge to help save the endangered Malleefowl at a first-of-its-kind Culture and Knowledge Day at the Rick Farley Reserve (near to Mungo National Park) on Thursday 3 August.

Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), endangered species

The Culture and Knowledge Day engages Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in on-country activities and is funded by the NSW Environmental Trust with support from the Science Division of Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), National Parks and Wildlife Services, Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area and Western Local Land Services.

OEH Project Co-ordinator Kaleana Reyland encouraged the local community, who have an interest in helping to save the Malleefowl species to attend.

"The Culture and Knowledge Day aims to bring together local people, with diverse ranges of knowledge to help shape meaningful ways for Aboriginal people and the broader community to get out on-country, reconnect and work together," said Miss Reyland.

"The Malleefowl is struggling to survive, but by taking an Aboriginal Cultural approach, the Project Steering Committee believes the Malleefowl will have a much better chance.

"The majority of members on the Project Steering group are local Aboriginal people from the Mutthi Mutthi, Barkandji/Paakantji, Ngiyampaa and Kurenji Traditional Tribal Groups. Their guidance, networks and knowledge are vital to achieving the project's objectives," said Miss Reyland.

Project Steering Group Chairman and Ngiyampaa Elder Mick Kelly said Aboriginal culture has been important in looking after Country locally for at least 48,000 years.

"To take care of Malleefowl Country we need to bring together Aboriginal Cultural knowledge and values, and science to gain a greater understanding of how to better look after everything. When Aboriginal people talk of Country, we take a holistic view and we mean everything from people down to a little ant or a blade of grass," said Mr Kelly.

As part of the Malleefowl Aboriginal Cultural Engagement Research Project, diverse cultural, scientific and local knowledge will be shared and documented. Then within a month, this combined knowledge will be used by local Aboriginal people and community members to shape culturally tuned activities to help the Malleefowl.

The Malleefowl is a large, ground-dwelling bird which is endangered in New South Wales. It's classified as an iconic species under the NSW Government's Saving Our Species program where conservation projects are under way to help secure this bird in the wild.

The Malleefowl Aboriginal Knowledge and Culture Day

Location: Meet outside NPWS Mungo Visitor Centre at 8am (on Thursday 3 August) for directions to Rick Farley Reserve. Lunch will be provided.

For further details contact 03 5021 9435.