Partnerships in sensitive landscapes

VRAN’s cultural awareness program is supporting community groups and agencies to undertake rabbit control in Aboriginal culturally sensitive landscapes.

The Victorian Rabbit Action Network (VRAN) visited the far north-west corner of Victoria recently, as part of an ongoing program to build knowledge about managing rabbits in culturally sensitive landscapes.

Acknowledging that rabbit control can be significantly more challenging in landscapes where there are ancestral remains, VRAN hosted a workshop for community and agency stakeholders at Neds Corner Station, near Cullulleraine, in October 2019. The initiative is part of a community grants program funded through the Weeds and Rabbits Project.

The workshop aimed to build partnerships and raise awareness of Aboriginal heritage. The north west of Victoria is a truly unique part of Australia, in terms of the number of globally significant ancient Aboriginal burial sites, however sites have been significantly damaged by rabbits.

Parks Victoria and the First People of Millewa Mallee are working tirelessly to protect the most highly culturally sensitive areas.

Kaye Rodden is a farmer and Landcare member from Barrabool Hills, near Geelong, and a member of the VRAN committee.

“Rabbit management is extraordinarily complex, and it requires lots of players, lots of community engagement and lots of partnerships,” Kaye said.

Kaye Rodden, VRAN committee member

“This country is just another step beyond, it’s so complex, it’s so fragile, the community here are trying so hard not to impact on cultural heritage and in the middle of a drought it’s really accentuated how vital it is for rabbits to be managed in a culturally sensitive way.”

Damien Jackson is one of the local Parks Victoria staff working to protect the area’s cultural heritage, and partnering with VRAN to share his knowledge about how rabbit management can be done in sensitive landscapes.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of support behind VRAN, as it’s bringing everyone together,” Damien said.

“It’s not just Aboriginal people’s issue, it’s not my issue, it’s not our team’s issue. It’s everyone’s issue – it’s the government, it’s the landowners, it’s everyone”.

VRAN would like to thank all our partners for attending including: First People of Millewa Mallee, Parks Victoria, Aboriginal Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, DELWP, Trust for Nature, Mallee CMA, Uncle Dave Wandin and Mildura Rural City Council.

Do you have a question in relation to rabbit management and working in sensitive landscapes? Contact Heidi Kleinert, VRAN Executive  Officer.

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