Bill at Angas Downs
Our Club’s involvement in indigenous affairs is in its infancy, however we are extremely proud of what has been achieved to date and the programme now forms an integral part of our Community Services portfolio.
It all started in 2010 when our member Dr George Wilson, a Wildlife ecologist and Veterinarian, introduced the Club to the work he was undertaking in central Australia in developing wildlife management, resource management and restoration of traditional lands with indigenous communities. We became involved with one such project at Angas Downs (AD), a 720,000 hectare property near Uluru, NT which had been returned to the Imanpa (Anangu tribe) community as tribal lands. His work inspired us to participate principally in the emu breeding programme, removal of camels, and protection of the waterholes. We also funded scientific work such as the acquisition of reptile cameras and other remote cameras. On several visits to AD we investigated and photographed previously undiscovered rock paintings in remote gorges on the property.
The success of the AD project became well documented and the Nari Nari tribe of Hay NSW asked the Club in 2013 to assist with the restoration of their tribal lands which straddle the Murrumbidgee River where their totem waterbirds are now endangered.
One of the big achievements this year has been the establishment of 2 Charitable Trusts with Tax Deductible status to support our Indigenous Projects. These are The Canberra Burley Griffin Rotary Club Indigenous Projects Trust ( Public Fund – Educations) and (Public Fund – Environment). The first Trust is in a healthy state and supporting 2 scholarships a year. The second will have a lot of work later this year after our next fundraising project.
The major projects undertaken in the past years are:
1. Angas Downs – Indigenous Protected Area
2. The Nari Nari Tribe of Hay NSW
The club is funding two scholarships for students to undertake support in their studies. These funds typically fund technology for the selected students.