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Cultural burning returns to Coranderrk

History was made at Coranderrk Station recently with the first cultural burn at the iconic site in more than a century.

Three people stand in a cleared area during a cultural burn at Coranderrk with some smouldering vegetation to their left.

Wurundjeri Traditional Owners have conducted a cultural burn at Coranderrk Station, near Healesville.

The burn, funded through DELWP’s Faunal Emblems Program and conducted in conjunction with Trust for Nature Victoria, aims to restore the native habitat around Coranderrk Station.

Coranderrk Station is a key site in the history of Traditional Owner and Aboriginal Victorian self-determination.

Coranderrk was established in 1863 and closed in 1924. It is located on the lands of the Wurundjeri-balluk clan (Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung leader William Barak’s clan).

The station was established in 1863 for the Wurundjeri people and members from other Kulin (Victorian) tribes who were forced from their traditional lands in the previous 3 decades.

The reserve originally comprised 9,31 hectares of land and was later extended to 1,962 hectares on the rich flats of the Yarra River, bordered by the Yarra, Badger Creek, Watts River and the slopes of Mount Riddell.

Coranderrk became 1 of 4 Aboriginal Reserves in Victoria. It was the scene of many battles with authorities for Aboriginal Victorians to forge their own path.

Barak was integral in standing up for the rights of the Coranderrk community and shaping the way for future generations.

Early European settlers regarded cultural burns as a threat and the practice was stopped at Coranderrk.

Coranderrk was closed in 1924 but was returned to Aboriginal ownership in the 1990s.

Wurundjeri elder Uncle Dave Wandin led the cultural burn, which will help elders pass on their knowledge of cultural burning and its environmental benefits to new generations.

Read more on the ABC news website

Reviewed 28 April 2021

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