REIGNITING ABORIGINAL FIRE CULTURE IN TASMANIA
Talk by Andry Sculthorpe and Billy Paton-Clarke with music by Emily Wurramara
Suggested walking location @ Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart
Many Australians view fire as a destructive force, but there’s more than one type of fire. Aboriginal people have been burning this country for centuries, helping to encourage native vegetation, improve food availability for humans and animals, and restoring balance in the ecosystem. Knocklofty Reserve was a very different environment not so long ago, but when we look out at the vegetation there today, we rarely see what’s been lost and what’s misplaced. Reigniting Aboriginal fire culture in Tasmania is a crucial step towards restoring our connection to country and our ability to understand and respect our fragile habitats.
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About Andry Sculthorpe:
Andry Sculthorpe is a pakana man who works for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre's milaythinna pakana land managememt program, and is a director for the Fire sticks alliance Aboriginal corporation.
About Billy Paton-Clarke:
Billy Paton-Clarke is from truwana/ Cape Barren Island. He moved to Hobart at 18, not knowing anyone, and found his way into land management. He now works as a pakana Ranger with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, caring for country. He loves getting out into country, whether with work or family, especially camping and exploring with his two daughters.
About Emily Wurramara:
Originally from Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, growing up Emily loved hearing her uncles sing, but also realised that women from her community rarely sang in public. Wanting to inspire and empower members of her community, especially young Indigenous women, to find their voice, Emily embarked on a musical journey that has touched the hearts and minds of audiences across Australia and internationally.
Emily’s debut album received an ARIA nomination and AIR award for Best Blues and Roots Album. She is a 6 times Queensland Music Award winner and has toured extensively across Australia, Canada and Ireland.
Photo Credit: Liv Jarvis
Suggested Walking Location: Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart
Located only a 5-minute drive west of Hobart’s city centre, the Knocklofty Reserve offers a relaxing network of fire trails and walking tracks through scenic open bushland. With access available to dog walkers and bike riders, Knocklofty is an ideal spot for an afternoon’s adventure close to Hobart.
The 4km Knocklofty Summit Loop is a lovely way to explore all the main features of the reserve.
Grade 3: Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections, a rough surface and steps.