Conserving Park Environments Containing Aboriginal Cultural Heritage

The parks and reserves of Victoria hold many significant cultural landscapes. The ancient rock art of Western Victoria is largely unknown and is suffering from extensive damage due to environmental conditions, introduced species, and the impacts of parks visitation. The park environments supporting this rock art need to be preserved and protected so that this important Aboriginal cultural heritage is protected for future generations. 

Western Victoria holds hundreds of recorded Aboriginal rock art sites spanning more than twenty thousand years, most have been recorded through incidental discovery, and no large scale surveys have been undertaken

The Issues:

  • Rock art sites are being impacted upon by natural causes such as stone exfoliation, salt build up, lichens and moulds
  • Rock arts sites are being degraded by invasive pest activities
  • Visitors are (often inadvertently) causing environmental damage
  • Some visitors are intentionally causing damage through acts of graffiti

2 - Goat damage to rock art in the Black Range State Park

Goats causing damage to rock art sites in the Black Range State Park

5 - Graffiti 2

Intentional defacement of ancient rock art sites by visitors

3 - Graffiti

Mould and lichen spreading along rock faces and causing damage to rock art

Recent SBS coverage of the vandalism issue on ancient rock art sites condemns the desecration of ancint cultural sites and call on all parks visitors to be aware, be sensitive, and be vigilant.

What can we do to help?

People and Parks Foundation is working closely with Parks Victoria and the local Aboriginal community to facilitate research and conservation activities in the parks and reserves of Western Victoria prone to environmental damage from animal pests, natural phenomena and visitors. People and Parks Foundation is raising funds in order to deliver the following outcomes:

  • The preservation and conservation of environmentally sensitive sites in the parks and reserves of Western Victoria containing culturally significant Aboriginal rock art
  • Education around future conservation needs to ensure the environments surrounding cultural sites do not experience further, preventable degradation
  • The celebration of culturally significant sites

A cross-sector approach led by community will facilitate positive outcomes for the protection of these natural environments and the ancient Aboriginal rock art therein. 

7 - Repairing Rock Art

We need to act now, before it’s too late 

If we don’t take steps to remediate the environments containing our world-significant cultural heritage, the Aboriginal of Western Victoria rock art could be lost in our lifetime.  

These environments are under threat, and by extension, so too are critically important cultural heritage sites. It’s entirely possible that without immediate action, a substantial amount of the rock art will be lost forever and the natural environmental housing these sites will be irrevocably degraded.  

People and Parks Foundation* is seeking support from individuals, organisations and government to deliver the project. Please donate today, your contribution is greatly appreciated.

*Donations $2 or more to People and Parks Environment Trust are tax deductible in Australia. Please donate today, your contribution is invaluable.

For more information about how you can support this important project, please contact Rob Anderson, rob.anderson@peopleandparks.org or 0413 455 111.