Healing Country on Tinja Farm with Naway Yila Buradja
2021 was the year of Healing Country – a mission that we started last May during Reconciliation Week. Caring for the land at Tinja Farm has always been important to our family, but with each generation we continue to grow our understanding of how best to do this for generations to come, while respecting the past that has brought us here.
A new partnership
Together in partnership with Nathan Lovett, Owner of Naway Yila Buradja (Today Brings Tomorrow) we have begun repairing and restoring 12 hectares of Tinja Farm that has been heavily impacted by erosion after excavation in the 1800’s. Our goal in repairing and healing this land is to see an increase in native bird & animal life to this section of Tinja, whilst reintroducing native plants, shrubs and trees that are endemic to this area.
Some of what is grown, such as native saltbush & pepper berry, will be used by Naway Yila Buradja as part of their native foods business, which will be launched later in the year.
As we work to heal this land and to better understand & respect the importance of Aboriginal cultural practises in how we continue to live on this land, we respectfully acknowledge that Tinja Farm always was and always will be, Wiradjuri land.
We are aware that we have a great deal to learn and objectives to achieve as this is just the beginning of future transformations. However we are all very excited to be beginning this journey with Naway Yila Buradja.
Nathan Lovett, Owner of Naway Yila Buradja
Nathan has been working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and employment programs for over 15 years. After gaining a degree in teaching with a focus on PE, Science & Agriculture, Nathan took his skills to begin working across school & youth programs with organisations such as AIME, NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy), the NRL, PCYC and Westpac. From 2020, Nathan has been bringing these skills to the hospitality industry as the CEO of the National Indigenous Culinary Institute.
I have always been connected to the lands that I have lived on, learning from Traditional Custodians and researching cultural practices. Seeing country impacted by poor management practices, and a lack of regeneration following, is something I have been very vocal about over the past 5 years or so. As such, I have been proactive in developing strategies on how to work with landowners to repair their land, return it to a healthy, natural state, and also to create sustainable native food opportunities.
In doing this, I am hoping to show that by using traditional practices and growing native plants to use as food, we can rely less on resources like water, pesticides and other harmful practices that impact country negatively. Further, by increasing the amount of native foods available to the community and the commercial market, we can create further business opportunities for Indigenous people around the country to follow similar models.
Nathan Lovett –
Words by Nathan Lovett, David Lowe, Kim & Bronte Currie. Images by Tim White.