On the air: BBC to feature Landcare Australia film on cultural burning

The BBC is broadcasting audio and vision excerpts from a Landcare Australia film in three of its programs later this year. The focus is Traditional Owners and cultural burning practices in Australia.

The BBC productions include interviews with Victor Steffensen, a descendant of the Tagalaka people and Indigenous fire practitioner, explaining how cultural burns can help manage the land while reducing fuel load and destructive wildfires.

Audio from the film Fire and Water, Healing Country and People, produced for Landcare Australia’s 2021 National Conference, can now be heard on the BBC Radio Four program 39 Ways to Save the Planet. This podcast, delivered in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, examines 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet. In his story on the importance of local wisdom, presenter Tom Heap considers if valuing and applying the knowledge of Indigenous people and groups more could help fight climate change. Listen to the podcast here.

The weekly BBC World Service solutions program People Fixing The World is doing its own take on Tom Heap’s report. They will also feature audio clips from the film of Victor Steffensen talking about his fire and land management techniques. People Fixing the World covers stories about people with innovative ideas to solve problems, and its content reaches a weekly audience of approximately 12 million. Listen to the podcast here.

Excerpts from Fire and Water, Healing Country and People will be included in a film that focuses on cultural burning practices in Australia. The film is part of a series of short films produced by BBC Studios for BBC Earth’s social media channels and will be published online in late 2021.

Filming of the cultural burn and interviews took place at Kanjuini at Emerald Creek, Queensland, near Cairns.

Landcare Australia produced the film Fire and Water, Healing Country and People for its 2021 National Landcare Conference. It was shown as part of a cultural land management panel that discussed integrating Indigenous perspectives for better land management. Facilitated by Doug Humann, AM Chair of Landcare Australia, the panel speakers included Victor Steffensen (Firesticks Alliance), Barry Hunter (Aboriginal Carbon Fund), Dhani Gilbert (2021 Young Landcare Leadership Award winner), and Joe Morrison (Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation).

This film is an important legacy from the 2021 National Landcare Conference. Following Victor and Barry allows us to see through the eyes of Indigenous land managers why actively managing Country is important for people and Country. The film reminds us all as Landcarers that there are many ways of looking at Country and that Country will be healthier if we work in partnership and trust together,” said Doug Humann AM.

You can watch Fire and Water, Healing Country and People on YouTube and read more about cultural land management practices on the Landcare Australia website.

Cultural Land Management

First Nations Peoples connection to Country provides a rich source of knowledge for better land and water management, and fire management policies. With our stakeholders, Landcare Australia has made available articles, videos and other resources to help landcarers and land managers appropriately integrate First Nations Peoples knowledge and more recent knowledge, into building ecological and community resilience.

Victor Steffenson performing a Cultural Burn

Victor Steffenson performing a cultural burn for Landcare Australia’s Fire and Water: Healing Country, Healing People Video.

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