A traditional and contemporary relationship with the land and coast of Premaydena connects and binds members of the Parrdarrama Pungenna Aboriginal Corporation to the area known as Fergusons Bay. Providing food, water, traditional materials, a place to rest, swim and enjoy culture, this area has supported an Aboriginal connection spanning thousands of years and is today enjoyed by Parrdarrama Pungenna Aboriginal Corporation members as a place of cultural significance, healing and reconciliation.
Earlier in October, a small group of participants – including staff from NRM South – attended a cultural competency training workshop on the foreshore at Fergusons Bay. This workshop was delivered by Judith MacDonald and Elder Rosalind from Parrdarrama Pungenna Aboriginal Corporation who generously shared their knowledge about ochres, wallaby and possum skins, local bush foods, songs in the paredarerme language, and the correct protocols for visitors on Country, and addressed questions about local cultural practices in the area and what NRM groups could do to support local Aboriginal communities.
Since June 2016, Amanda Blakney, NRM Facilitator from Tasman Council, has been supporting NRM South to administer a project with the Parrdarrama Pungenna Aboriginal Corporation to improve and maintain the foreshore vegetation at this site – currently consisting of pigface, kangaroo apple, native grasses, and a few eucalypts.
Working collaboratively, Tasman Council and NRM South are acknowledging and resourcing Parrdarrama Pungenna Aboriginal Corporation members’ connection to Country. It is both rewarding and essential to resource Aboriginal custodianship of a culturally important site, where social and environmental outcomes lead to improvements in coastal vegetation and habitat and improved cultural understandings and community relationships.