Dhungala 2019 – The National Indigenous Fire Workshop on Yorta Yorta Woka

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Dhungala 2019 brought together more than 400 people from over 30 Indigenous nations to take part in the 12th National Indigenous Fire Workshop. Dhungala 2019 was hosted by the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal Nation Corporation in partnership with the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.

Dhungala 2019, marked the 12th National gathering to celebrate and practice cultural fire. This year, the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation worked alongside The Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation to plan and deliver the three day event. The Yorta Yorta people welcomed more than 400 people to their country at the opening ceremony on Tuesday 4th June.

Chair of the Firesticks Alliance, Oliver Costello said “Dhungala 2019 was another step forward on the path to revitalising cultural fire across the landscape. Dhungala 2019 enabled people from country to tell their stories, practice their culture, and demonstrate the importance of custodianship. Dhungala 2019 really demonstrated what we see as those custodial rights for the people to care for country…and anyone that participated in the workshops will have seen the power of that story.”

Every element of Dhungala 2019’s program was a celebration of culture; Eight masterclasses gave participants a true experience of right country right fire on Yorta Yorta country. Participants got to hear local stories, share knowledge and practice cultural ways of being and doing as they moved through workshop on Woka (country) and Wala (water), waking up leafy country, burning country, monitoring, reading country, and traditional tool making, dancing and weaving. Participants shared an abundance of local food, prepared in ground ovens. At night, local musicians, rappers and dancers entertained from the stage.

Oliver Costello…“The firesticks Alliance is planning for the way forward, to build on the connections made at Dhungala and the role the annual National Indigenous Fire Workshop plays in supporting local and regional mentorships that enable communities to be strong for that country and the importance of right fire for country.”

For more information on Dhungala 2019, and the work of the Firesticks Alliance visit www.firesticks.org.au…Listen to “Right Country – Right Fire” a podcast series from Bundanon 2018, watch videos from Dhungala 2019 and previous gatherings.

The Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation would like to thank the Yorta Yorta people for hosting us on their country, the Firestick Alliance partners, Mulong, The importance of Campfires, Cape York National Resource Management, and the University of Technology Sydney, and our major sponsors, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Forest Fire Management and Parks Victoria.

Oliver Costello’s thankyou message.
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