Indigenous fire knowledge and land management practice – a sustainable way of life and an innovative approach to climate change’s catastrophic bushfire
‘You can’t tell our children that all the emus will be gone …’
This is a conversation between Victor Steffensen, an Indigenous writer, filmmaker, musician and consultant and Steve O’Malley, a fire-fighter of 30+ years.
Indigenous land management is based on prevention, and working with the land and the elements. In contrast, so much human response to extreme weather events and disasters worldwide is based on man (literally) attempting to prevail over nature. Victor Steffensen speaks of ‘young’ knowledge systems that don’t respect or understand old knowledge systems and the protocols around them. Instead, young knowledge systems need to keep advance Indigenous knowledge, and allow it to demonstrate its value.
“There’s beautiful roses on both sides of the fence. Western science has a wealth of advanced technology that can help, and Aboriginal knowledge has a wealth of knowledge of the landscape from thousands of years’ experience, and if only they could work together and respect each other in the right way, we could move mountains.”