Bega LALC Cultural Burning Program

Help the Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council (Bega LALC) secure funding  to undertake cultural burning work on Yuin Country  in our beautiful part of Australia, that has been badly impacted by the 2019/20 summer wildfires. 
Immediately below is a link to 3 minute ABC news story that explores the issue of funding cultural burning programs. 

Back ground:
Since 2017 the Bega LALC have undertaken a program of cultural burning on its extensive landholdings  in the Bega Valley Shire region on the currently fire ravaged south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

The Bega LALC holds and manages this land for the benefit of the local Aboriginal community. Its is all heavily forested, formerly vacant Crown Land that has been handed back under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act (1983).

Most of this Country bears the legacy of neglect and mismanagement over the past 200 years.  Legacy problems that we face include heavy forest fuel loads near to settlements, as well as dumped rubbish, degraded habitats for native animals, soil erosion, feral foxes, cats and other pest animals and bush-land weeds.

We aim to bring this land back alive again: but there is a lot of work to be done and whilst we have members keen to achieve this, we have very few resources and not enough funds to pay wages.

 Our cultural burning program aims to develop positive social, environmental and community safety outcomes and is recognised as having reduced the impact of the devastating Tathra wildfire of 2018 - see the embedded ABC video and links below.

What we want to do:
Further implement our program on strategic Bega LALC landholdings that adjoin villages and localities in the Bega Valley region; including Tathra, Merimbula, Tura Beach, Bega, Wallagoot, Tanja, Bemboka and Turingal.
Drawing on the support and guidance we receive from experienced knowledge holders, via our relationship with the Firesticks Alliance , we aim to assist in expanding the network of cultural fire practitioners. We will continue to develop a "two-way learning" partnership with the NSW Rural Fire Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service which provides training and support to our crew. This broad base of training and knowledge will ensure that our cultural burns program will be  appropriate, safe and effective

Why we are asking for your support:
The Bega LALC is an Aboriginal community organisation that receives no recurrent government funding and is  an Australian registered charity (donations are tax deductible in Australia). The limited funding we previously secured for our cultural burning program has been expended, so we need funds to implement this important work in 2020 (and beyond).  Funds are needed now so we  can do the planning and be ready to go when the seasonal window for this work arrives; likely to commence in April 2020.

How we will use the funds:
Funds will primarily be used to pay wages for field crews and the purchase and operation of necessary plant & equipment for on ground work. Funds will also be used to provide training and mentoring for field crews and to undertake property management planning work, to ensure that all on ground works are done as safely and effectively as possible. We can scale the project size to suit the funds available.

In 2019 the Bega LALC could not do on-ground cultural burning work due to a lack of resources brought about by unfulfilled funding promises from some prominent politicians; despite acknowledgement of our previous success.  

We hope you can help us to make a positive difference for the community and visitors to the beautiful  Bega Valley region.

Please note-
1) The donation process may be slightly different to other non-charity Gofundme  campaigns you may have donated to. The Bega LALC is a registered charity in Australia, so donations are tax deductible. To ensure the integrity of all charitable donations, funds donated to charities via Gofundme are disbursed to the charity (in this case the Bega LALC) via the Australian PayPal Giving Fund. You do not need to open a Paypal account to donate but can do so as a ‘guest’. Click the 'Donate Now' button and after entering your payment details (card, billing address etc), just check the ‘No I don’t want an account now’ option on the Paypal guest check out window before submitting your payment.
More information is available at the link below. 

2) If due to project constraints (weather conditions, fuel moisture levels, etc) we are unable to safely and effectively fully implement a burn program we may redirect some funds raised for our field crew to undertake other biodiversity/environment enhancing activities on the Bega LALC landholdings. This may include a pest animal control program (assisting the recovery of local potoroo and bandicoot populations), erosion mitigation work and/or pest plant management.  

Links to information about cultural burning. 

Information about the Bega LALC


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Glenn Willcox 
Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically tax deductible in Australia.
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