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Caring for Country and sharing knowledge key to healthy landscapes

Jaliigirr Darrunda Wajaar Green TeamAs NAIDOC Week begins, North Coast Local Land Services is highlighting the diversity of programs and projects being undertaken throughout the region to support Aboriginal people in caring for Country and sharing traditional land management knowledge.

NAIDOC Week is held from 5-12 July.  This year's theme is "We all stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate" which highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea.  The theme offers an opportunity to pay respects to Country, honour those who work tirelessly on preserving land, sea and culture and to share the stories of many sites of significance or sacred places with the nation.

Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer said, "The North Coast region is home to a number of Aboriginal nations and North Coast Local Land Services is working on nurturing a strong network of long-standing partnerships established across the region."

North Coast Local Land Services supports a community-based delivery model by engaging Aboriginal organisations across the region to undertake natural resource management and sustainable agriculture activities.

"The contributions of the Australian and NSW Governments who fund these projects is crucial to our success and the outcome is both a healthier and more productive environment and opportunities to build stronger relationships with the Aboriginal community," Barry said.

North Coast Local Land Services supports a range of innovative projects on the North Coast including the Jaliigirr project.  Jaliigirr, the Gumbaynggirr word for tree, is a long-term project that aims to improve the condition of and expand the linkage between the Pacific Ocean and the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative.  The delivery of the Jaliigirr project recognises the attachment of Aboriginal communities to landscape, as the Gumbayngirr people continue practices in natural resource management consistent with tens of thousands of years of knowledge and experience.

The Wild Dog Knowledge Gap Project aims to increase ecological knowledge on wild dogs, especially understanding their movement through the coastal and hinterland peri-urban landscape across the central zone of the North Coast region. The project engages three Aboriginal Green Teams from the Gumbaynggirr Nation, on whose traditional lands the research will take place.

Barry concluded, "Capacity building and the sharing of two-way knowledge is an important outcome of these projects.

"NAIDOC Week provides a great opportunity to recognise the hard work and wealth of cultural and ecological knowledge being used to great effect by Aboriginal people throughout the North Coast region."

For more information on these projects visit the North Coast Local Land Services website at www.northcoast.lls.nsw.gov.au

Media contact:           Barry Williams Phone 6659 9409

Photo caption:           Jaliigirr Darrunda Wajaar Team and Supervisor