Aboriginal Burial Sites in the semi-arid zones and sand dunes in the north-west of Victoria are at risk of being uncovered and exposed due to damage caused by erosion, introduced species (rabbits and cattle) and visitors to the area (predominantly 4WD). Many burial dunes – some dating back 10,000 years – have already been damaged, and the exposure of remains has caused great distress to the Traditional Owners – First People of Millewa Mallee (Ngintait, Latji Latji and Nyeri Nyeri).
The Foundation is supporting a project managed by the People & Parks Foundation, Parks Victoria and the local Aboriginal community to restore and stabilise Aboriginal Burial Sites in the area, protect these sites against future erosion events, repatriate Aboriginal Ancestral Remains to Country and raise awareness amongst visitors to the area to prevent future damage.
The initial remediation, repatriation and protection project at site B16 is now under way and is expected to be completed by September 2018, with work on a further 10 identified sites to follow. Much of the work is being undertaken by members of the local Aboriginal community providing sensitivity to and expert knowledge of Country. This extensive involvement will also strengthen the connection with Country, supporting improved health and wellbeing for Traditional Owners.
More detail on this important project, together with photographs of the damage to be remediated and the progress made, is to be found on the People & Parks Foundation website – http://www.peopleandparks.org/projects-activities/rock-art-and-resting-places.