Protecting Our Places environmental grants to help Heal Country! 2021

Eight grants totalling over $557,000 were awarded to Aboriginal community organisations and groups across the State as part of the NSW Environmental Trust's Protecting Our Places (PoP) grant program for 2021.

Cool cultural burn in Rick Farley Reserve in NSW's far west

NSW Environment Trust's Aboriginal Programs Officer Maggie Bushel said the grants complement NAIDOC week 2021's land-centred theme of Heal Country!

"POP is an on-ground grants program that supports Aboriginal community groups and organisations to develop cultural land management knowledge and practices, and it fits in beautifully with this year's NAIDOC theme," Ms Bushel said.

"It's always rewarding seeing these grants come to life, to see Aboriginal people, communities and partners working together to protect, conserve and restore culturally significant environments through on-ground projects."

One successful PoP grantee – The Gully Traditional Owners, based around Katoomba in the Blue Mountains – will further regenerate bush and re-establish vegetation in Blue Mountains Swamp and riparian corridors in the Gully Aboriginal Place.

Another successful grantee – Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council in Toronto – will heal Country with cultural burns to control weed infestations, reduce the overall fire fuel loads while restoring the ecosystem by increasing local native vegetation.

Individual grants of up to $80,000 for projects planned and implemented over a three-year period are available under the Trust's program.

The grants build the capacity of communities to plan and deliver environmental projects, where they can carry out environmental improvements and knowledge-sharing activities around landscapes of cultural significance to the local Aboriginal community.

Key people in the grantees' organisations will take part in project management training and Aboriginal leadership mentoring and support at the start of their projects.

The NSW Environmental Trust's Protecting Our Places grants program started in 2002.

For more information see Protecting our Places grants program.

Summary of the eight latest POP grants:

Organisation and area Project Title Funding
The Gully Traditional Owners, Katoomba, Blue Mountains area Restoring the Cultural and Environmental Values of the Gully Aboriginal Place $73,300
Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council, Toronto, Lake Macquarie area Healing Country with Cultural Burns $80,000
Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council, Islington, Newcastle area Cultural Management of Sites and Places, protecting sites through better fire management. $47,780
Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council, Orange Connecting with Wiradjuri Country in Blayney Shire. Caring for what remains of the natural vegetation in the Shire is an opportunity for a Connecting with Country Project. $79,493
Coffs Harbour and District Local Aboriginal Land Council, Coffs Harbour, Oxley area Fire and Weed Management for CHDLALC Owned Land at Yurruunga $80,000
Thungutti Local Aboriginal Land Council, Bellbrook, Oxley area Nulla Nulla Restoration Program will continue work removing invasive weed species from the banks of Nulla Nulla Creek, to complete landscaping and replanting work in order to stabilise creek banks, reduce erosion and restore integrity in the flow of the creek. $80,000
Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council, Tweed Heads, Tweed area Land and Sea Rangers working to restore a culturally significant bushland site at Duranbah Beach. $80,000
Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council, Tanilba Bay, Port Stephens area Surveying, Mapping and implementing works program to, conserve and restore country $36,970