Restoring Resting Places: Healing Country Together

Healing Country Through Community: Conserving Natural Environments and Aboriginal Burial Sites

Tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal Ancestral burial dunes are at risk of being uncovered and exposed because of significant erosion in the Mallee region of north west Victoria. The First Peoples of the Millewa Mallee (Ngintait, Latji Latji and Nyeri Nyeri) are calling on the wider community to help provide funding to restore and stabilise Aboriginal Burial grounds, to protect these sites against future erosion events, and to repatriate Aboriginal Ancestral Remains to Country.

If we act now, the damage is reparable, and further damage is preventable.

Victoria’s semi-arid zones and sand dunes in the North-West of the state are under threat from erosion that's been exacerbated by:

  • feral and grazing animals (predominantly rabbits and wild cattle) 
  • illegal 4WD activities

Uncovered Aboriginal Ancestral Remains as a result of environmental degradation in the region are being discovered regularly, causing great distress to Traditional Owners. 

What's Going Wrong?

  • Hundreds of burial grounds span the region between Barmah National Park in the east to Murray Sunset National Park in the west, many in layers well over 10,000 years old
  • Salination, grazing animals and pest incursions has accelerated erosion damage, leading to more burial sites being exposed to the elements 
  • Few locals or visitors are aware of the problem

4 - FWD damage

Deep trenches are the result of illegal off-road vehicle activities.

11 - Damage from pests - rabbits

Rabbits are digging holes, and uncovering ancestral remains.

9 - FWD damage - erosion

The devastating effects of erosion caused by a number of human and animal impacts.

What can we do to help?

People and Parks Foundation is working closely with our projects partners: The First Peoples of the Millewa Mallee and Parks Victoria, to raise much-needed funds in order to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Raise awareness about this issue to land owners, land managers, custodians and other key stakeholders operating in this delicate environment
  • Protect burial grounds
  • Prevent future erosion events from uncovering burial sites through a revegetation program
  • Support Traditional Owners to engage in burial protection works and ensure community is supported to continue to deliver this work in the future

It's too big a job for the The First Peoples of the Millewa Mallee alone - if we work together, we can achieve so much more. Please visit our website and make a donation*, your contribution is greatly appreciated. 

*Donations $2 or more to People and Parks Environment Trust are tax deductible in Australia. For more information about how you can support this important project, please contact People and Parks Foundation:

3 - Returning Aboriginal Ancestral Remains

6 - Remediation works - filling in the trenches

The innovative practices being undertaken to return Aboriginal Ancestral Remains requires sensitivity to and expert knowledge of Country.

8 - Remediation of land damaged by FWDs

12 - Regrowth as a result of protection works

Encouraging re-growth of native plants in degraded areas will help stem erosion events.