Smoking ceremony at George Brook Reserve

Last week, Bindjareb Middars conducted a well-received Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at George Brook Reserve on the Murray River, WA. The ceremony launched bank stabilisation work at the site as part of a collaboration between Greening Australia, Alcoa, the Shire of Murray, Syrinx Environmental and the local Noongar community.

Photo credit: Josh Cowling

Photo credit: Josh Cowling

Agriculture, land clearing and urban development had left the banks of the Murray altered, vulnerable and in urgent need of maintenance to prevent further damage.

In 2018, Syrinx Environmental were contracted to compile a plan for bank stabilisation and weed control at George Brook Reserve. To minimise undercutting of the river bank, the bioengineering technique of a brush wall and matting were implemented. These methods also allowed council staff and local groups to gain valuable new foreshore restoration skills.

Photo credit: Jesse Collins

The Murray River (Bilya) is significant to the local Bindjareb Noongar community who hunted and lived along the river for thousands of years. The project played an important part in slowing the erosion along the river, while cultivating partnerships between the local indigenous community and local land managers.

The project was made possible with funding from Alcoa Foundation and Shire of Murray, as part of the Three Rivers, One Estuary Initiative – a mission to improve health of the Peel-Harvey Catchment. Greening Australia has a longstanding partnership with Alcoa achieving successful environmental outcomes.

“Greening Australia is in its 37th year and Alcoa has been a partner for the entire period. The Three Rivers initiative is a further renewal of this historic partnership and our new collaboration has been created with the intent of improving the condition of these three significant rivers.” – CEO of Greening Australia, Brendan Foran.