Over the past few years the Kimberley Nature Project (KNP) has juggled many small cultural and natural land-management grants, enabling us to work with Kimberley Traditional Owner groups and other community groups. The EOFY (end of the financial year) signals the finalising of several of these grants and the beginning of other projects. It is a period of reporting and reflecting, whilst planning the new endeavours. Despite the short duration of grants, the strong relationships with project partners is constant. This enables us to continue to work together with partners to protect special places such as Monsoon Vine Thickets (MVTs), and threatened species such as the Greater Bilby and Night Parrot, even if we are onto our tenth grant for a project, or when the government funding goalposts move.
Together with the Bardi Jawi Oorany (women) and Nyul Nyul Rangers, and the Yawuru women Country Managers, we have continued the work to protect MVTs through revegetation (seed collecting, propagating and planting), and weeding. As well, we have been developing signs and booklets, and undertaking educational work in schools on the cultural and ecological importance of MVTs. It has been a busy few months, with some exciting outcomes. Here are a few highlights:
With four schools and their respective ranger groups we explored the cultural importance of MVT and pindan woodland plants. We worked with the Karajarri Rangers and Bidyadanga students; with Yawuru Country Managers and Roebuck Primary School; and with Bardi Jawi Oorany and Ardyaloon and Djarindjin students and communities. Cultural interpretive signs were produced featuring the students’ botanic drawings and these signs are to be installed within gardens planted by the students within the school grounds.
Roebuck Primary School with the Year 5 6 Garden Club
Seed to tree grant products: examples of the signs produced with the students artwork and cultural information
In June we brought together representatives from government and non-government sectors (Yawuru, Broome Shire, Department of Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Parks and Wildlife Service, World Wildlife Fund and others) to establish a Broome Weed Working Group. This first meeting had some positive results, allowing us to share knowledge about weed infestations, concerns and methods. It is hoped that this will be the beginning of a more cooperative approach to dealing with invasive weed species within the Broome Shire.
Lastly, we recently produced with Yawuru a small promotional video called ‘Protecting Mayingan manja balu’, about looking after Monsoon Vine Thickets through the right-way science work of the Yawuru Women Country Managers and Environs Kimberley.
When EOFY forces you to stop and review the year, you realise just how busy and successful a project has been.
This work was funded by the Western Australian Government’s NRM Program, Rangelands NRM and the National Landcare Program.