Outdoor Education - Landrights
It is important for the wider community to understand Indigenous
Australians' relationship with the land. What are the consequences when
this relationship is denied?
Despite the current misconception, Aborigines practised 'broad-spectrum
exploitation'- harvesting from wild sources an extensive range of plant and
animal foods through all seasons of the year. Europeans have recorded lists
of hundreds of species eaten by various Aboriginal groups. In Victoria for
example, unique environmental factors allowed for specialised collection
and hunting. Along the coast there was an abundance of marine life - fish,
shellfish, sea birds and mammals. During the summer months, groups with
access to the sea took advantage of these resources. Hundreds of cubic
metres of burnt and smashed shells and bones, strewn through the sand dunes
of Victoria as middens, testify to their extensive use over many centuries.
In the Western District there are traces of elaborate complexes of channels
and weirs covering hectares of swampland. Historical records and
archaeological investigations reveal that Aboriginal groups around Lake
Condah constructed and manipulated such complex systems to trap and harvest
large quantities of eels and fish well beyond the brief weeks of their
season of migration.
View the video about the Kerupgundidjmara people.
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