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Jungkajungka Woodlands Festival

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Woodlands knowledge

The Jungkajungka Woodlands Festival held over Easter in the heart of the Great Western Woodlands in Norseman, attracted 95 people from as far afield as Albany and Perth, including a number from the Avon Wheatbelt.

Steve Hopper (UWA) provided the keynote address with a personal perspective on his work in the Great Western Woodlands over the years which indicated that the area has the highest species diversity in Australia.

Les Shultz and Mike Griffiths (both from Ngadju Conservation) spoke about how the Ngadju people have exclusive native title over 4,800,000 ha, and native title over a 10,000,000 ha. They then explained how the Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Rangers arebeginning management activities by partnering with organisations, controlling weeds and feral animals, managing fire and monitoring threatened species.

Sue Prober (CSIRO) also talked about fire and its role in protecting and managing the GWW with its use in carbon sequestration in the woodlands.

Other speakers included staff from Birdlife Australia, Kalgoorlie Urban Landcare Group and Goldfields Naturalist Club.

Woodland management

James Shultz (local Ngadju Elder) conducted a fantastic and informative early morning woodlands walk looking at the Watertrees of the Ngadju people (symbol of Ngadju Conservation), where suitable trees are manipulated when young to expand into a central bowl between branches that collects water naturally, supplying wildlife and people with an essential water source.

Speakers included: Nigel Wessels (DPaW), Nic Dunlop (Murdoch University and The Conservation Council), Peter Robinson (The Wilderness Society) and Leigh Whisson (Wheatbelt NRM).

And a highlight was experiencing the dawn bird chorus one morning and observing the diversity of the Great Western Woodlands around Norseman.

Thanks and congratulations to The Wilderness Society for organising this event.