Cape York Peninsula is remote, the northern most part of Queensland, Australia. It is recognised for its outstanding natural and cultural resources with significant areas identified for future World Heritage listing. The Cape York region is globally significant as one of the last great Wet/Dry tropical systems in the World (Halpern 2008) with relatively intact eastern flowing catchments that feed the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and more disturbed western flowing catchments feeding to the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is often referred to as one of the largest unspoilt wilderness areas in the World. Although this is partially true, there are many threats faced by the country and the people of this amazing place. It is certainly relatively intact, and has little development compared to many parts of Australia, but it is not devoid of people or management, as wilderness is commonly understood to mean.

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Cecil Woodley

People learned a lot and we learnt a lot from them too, I enjoyed it - it was good to be part of hosting it. Good to show them how we burn and learn how they burn.

They haven’t got the same trees down south as we got up here. Talking about the trees down there and talking about the trees up here.

Cecil Woodley
edwin ling

Nice to work with other people and talk about bloodwood and ironwood, I don’t want to leave today. It’s my first time to the workshop.

I really enjoyed talking about our country, about burning, about bush fire. Highlights were the dancing last night, listening to all them stories and getting to meet them people from down south.

Edwin Ling
Judy Sagigi

“It’s good to have workshops and learn something from us, up this way," Judy said.

It was good to show other people what we do up this end and show how we burn up here.

It’s nice for other people to see fire burning and for people to mix with other Aboriginal people from the north,"

Judy Sagigi
Nathan

“I had an amazing time with knowledge that was learned and being around fun people,

It’s incredible the knowledge they are all sharing.

I learned a lot of new things, about fire, about trees and uses and bush tucker from Stanley.

It’s good to hang around with different rangers from different parts of Australia and interesting to hear about other rangers.

I hope they do it again next year and I Would come along again and stay a bit longer"

Nathan Newley
Vince Heffernan

As a 20th century [21st century] white Australian my appreciation of fire in the landscape was principally one of a destructive force. The use of fire to 'reduce fuel loads' is seen as a redeeming purpose - but again only in a 'take all' way of "destroying to make a barrier" to potential destructive fire. The workshop fundamentally changed my paradigm of fire in the Australian landscape. I had read Bill Gammage's book and had an insight to why and how the indigenous experience of tens of millennia of land management was different to the white mans awkward approach to 'taming the landscape' over mere decades. The folly of the white "man V nature" as opposed to the indigenous man as part of nature is evident in the great diminution of ecological systems and general demise in the health of the environment. This workshop was a revelation; it joined the dots and linked the loose ends. It helped me bring together years of part-understanding into a 'whole' appreciation of what is the indigenous way. A way that IS nature not separate or opposed to it. The man [separate from]: Nature is a paradigm entirely of the European Australians.

Vince Heffernan
Vince Heffernan

I am a sheep grazier in an area first settled [invaded] by Europeans in the 1820's or few years before. I am aware that the landscape changed dramatically as a result and that this was largely due to the absence of indigenous people and the subsequent loss of their land management approach. This workshop helped underline how dramatic this change was and, perhaps, what can be done to repair the years, decades and almost centuries of mismanagement.

Vince Heffernan
Andy McQuie

An excellent way of getting everybody from all over the country,  together in the one spot, all talking about, thinking about and learning about cultural burning. I’m sure what we put into practice back on our own country will make the old fellas smile

Andy McQuie