Unlocking the economic benefits of local oyster farming

Gippsland Lakes photo with thanks to Gerard via Flickr.

Using Indigenous knowledge to bring native oysters back to Gippsland

As Gippsland locals, we’re thrilled to hear that the Victorian Fisheries Authority has entered into a three-year partnership with our friends at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLWAC) to re-establish oyster farming in the Gippsland Lakes.

Consumed by First Nations people for thousands of years and native to the area, overfishing and dredging almost wiped the local Sydney rock and angasi oyster out.

The team are now testing the viability, growth rates and eating qualities of newly-embedded oyster beds with the ambition of re-creating an oyster industry producing up to 30 tonnes of oysters each year.

As noted in this The Age news story (first story free, then paywalled) oyster production not only has economic and cultural benefits, but encourages good environmental outcomes, as oysters effectively filter water quality. Read the press release HERE.

First Nations edition a first for Gippslandia

Paying our respects in print

We all want to hear stories and be engaged in conversations about the cultural connection that Traditional Owners have with the lands on which we walk. But it can be hard to find information and/or ask questions that we’re not sure we should be asking.

The editorial team at Gippslandia – a boundary-pushing local newspaper that connects Gippslanders through positive storytelling – have engaged in a deep listening exercise with the Kurnai Traditional Owners to produce a remarkable special edition to coincide with its fifth birthday.

The 60-page publication (Gippslandia #21) took over 12-months to produce and does a fantastic job explaining the history, culture, beliefs and environment of the Gunaikurnai people and their connection to Country. It fully engages with Elders and covers some of the initiatives that they, their children and grandchildren are embarking on now and into the future.

Because the editorial team have gone in with an open heart and mind, they have managed to reveal some vitally-important information on the history and beliefs of the region from a Kurnai  perspective. We particularly benefited from reading about the five major clans that form the Kurnai Nation across the Gippsland region. Great also to see the involvement of our friends at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.

Kudos all ’round for a truly remarkable edition.

Gunaikurnai announce significant purchase of traditional lands

Getting back onto Country

We are delighted to learn that our friends at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) have purchased 103 hectares on the Yanakie Isthmus in South Gippsland.

The property is just 500 metres from the entrance to Yirak Wamoon (Wilson’s Promontory National Park) which, in an unrelated announcement, was recently granted $23M for the establishment of a biodiversity sanctuary to protect vulnerable species.

The video at right explains the history and context of the GLaWAC purchase and the economic independence and cultural healing it will bring.

The site has high biodiversity values thanks to the fact that the previous owner invested a significant amount of time, money and energy into restoring the wetland facing Corner Inlet. These revegetation efforts have attracted water and shore birds, with the team at GLaWAC likely to advance these efforts further.

Huge congratulations to the team. We look forward to learning more about the vision and planned activities.