The unseasonably wet weather didn’t deter representatives from Perth NRM, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare SERCUL, the City of Swan, World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), and Ellen Brook Integrated Catchment Group (EBICG) to meet to tour some of Perth’s Threatened Ecological Communities.

Noongar Elder Neville Collard from Nyungar.com met the group at Mills Park Centre in Beckenham with a minibus that would transport the environmental mangers to each site. It was a day for sharing knowledge and experience between colleagues of different organisations who work together to restore and protect the threatened and vulnerable communities. Elder Neville shared Traditional Ecological Knowledge throughout the day, explaining cultural land management practices and stories of the sites visited.

The travelling seminar stopped at three sites during the day. First was Ellen Brook Nature Reserve where Elder Neville welcomed the group to Noongar Boodja.  Gerald Kuchling from DBCA explained the long-term planning for the protection of the local turtle population and rare flora, the seasonal changes in the reserve, and the impact of threats such as Phytophthora dieback.

At Talbot Road Nature Reserve Bob Huston from DBCA spoke on plans around the acquisition of a new area for the conservation estate, habitat preservation particularly with old Jarrah trees, and the ongoing challenge of managing watsonia weeds. Long-term planning around the restoration and improvement of the threatened community was a topic of much discussion and the challenges of external impacts and plant disease, at this second site.

During the lunch break, Elder Neville shared with the group the history of the Perth region and fascinating stories around how the naming of areas occurred during the period of European settlement and how many of the names are steeped in Noongar history.

Lastly at Greater Brixton Street Wetland – Grazyna Paczowska from DBCA lead the group on a walking tour of the site, detailing restoration efforts, the changing landscape and different flora communities and impacts of recreational use and adjacent infrastructure.  Participants learned about comprehensive steps taken to combat the ongoing issue of off-road vehicles entering and damaging the threatened ecological community. Elder Neville shared knowledge of the Marro or the Betadine Tree (Callitris preissii), and how the smoke from its leaves could be used to relieve chest and sinus congestion while the liquid inside the nuts treated skin infections and rashes.

The day was enjoyed by all and it proved to be an excellent networking opportunity for those that work so diligently to protect the Threatened Ecological Communities around Perth. Perth NRM thanks the attendees and speakers for sharing their experiences and projects, Elder Neville Collard for sharing his knowledge, and Dave the bus driver for his excellent navigation skills. The TEC Travelling Seminar was supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Landcare Partnerships (RLP) program and conducted as part of Perth NRM’s Biodiversity Program.

For more information about the TEC Travelling Seminar and the community engagement work that Perth NRM is doing as part of the RLP please contact Sharon Munro at community@perthnrm.com

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