Caring for Country: a Yorta Yorta dream come true
Yorta Yorta Caring for Our Country project officer Neil Morris says he’s living the dream.
Neil is working as part of a local team under the Caring For Our Country – Protecting the Ecological Character of Barmah project, which is delivered in partnership with Parks Victoria and the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation. Funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program, the project is delivering pest, plant and animal control in the local wetland area.
“Many, many times I daydreamed about what it would be like to work on my country,” Neil said.
“The land is still living culture in itself and being out there every day, learning small things; it’s all learning about a culture. You’re becoming a walking part of culture, to go out and transfer that on to the greater community. It’s priceless,” Neil explained.
The local team was established two years ago and Neil said there has already been a positive impact on the community.
“A lot of these guys have never had that opportunity to work on the land.
“We’re getting people wanting to get involved who we haven’t seen since we were kids. Because of this wonderful program, here they all are coming back,” Neil said.
The project is also closely aligned with the Australian Government’s Working On Country program which engages Indigenous rangers to undertake important environmental management works on Yorta Yorta Country.
“Hopefully it’s going to continue a trend for all our young ones coming through. They can come in and do work experience with us, 15, 16 year olds and that’s going to inspire them I hope to go on and do science degrees and environmental land management and things like that.” Neil said.Tweet