What do cultural heritage and floodplain management have in common?

Oct 23, 2017Aboriginal Participation, Education, Rivers, Strategies & Plans

This is just one of the questions the Floodplain Statutory Functions team explored during their visit with Traditional Elder Uncle Bryon from the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation and his niece Stephanie.

Floodies team with Uncle Bryon 2
Uncle Bryon sharing his knowledge with the Floodplain team

Across the day, the team gained a greater insight from Uncle Bryon about how floodplains have been used historically in the area and continue to be utilised and valued by Aboriginal peoples today.

Lomandra for morning tea
Uncle Bryon offering Lomandra for morning tea

Through his continued work, Uncle Bryon provides valuable input into new developments while maintaining the integrity of the environment and cultural heritage, in particular within floodplains.

Uncle Bryon has a unique approach; he believes that the way forward is to highlight and showcase the added value that comes with the protection of the environment and cultural heritage including environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits.

One such example of this approach is the maintenance of floodplains in new estates. Not only is this a win for the environment and cultural heritage but it also has social and economic outcomes as it means more green open spaces for current residents and adds value and appeal to potential future residents.

Life size axe head sharpening rock
Life size axe head sharpening rock art installation

The Floodplain team shared their knowledge of the importance of floodplains from a floodplain management perspective, including how development is planned around the 1% AEP flood event (the one in one hundred year flood event).

Jessie showing flood maps to Uncle Bryon
The Floodplain team sharing flood maps with Uncle Bryon

” The day identified a number of common floodplain values held in high regard by both the Traditional Owners and the CMA’s Floodplain Statutory Functions team.” – Geoff Taylor, Floodplain Statutory Manager

The day was a great example of cross cultural knowledge exchange and both parties identified the benefits of working more collaboratively to ensure the best outcomes for floodplain protection, both environmentally and culturally.