|Rainbow Lorikeet feasting on a Grass Tree. Pic: Peter Meyer|
DID YOU KNOW Grass Trees are terrifically adapted to suit the Australian environment?
In Australia, especially in areas occupied by Aborigines, fires are a frequent occurrence and as such many Australian plants have evolved to tolerate and sometimes even rely on fire. Grass Trees flower best after exposure to gases released during fire and the old bases of the leaves help to insulate the vulnerable growth points during these extreme temperature events. The trunk of the grass tree appears black from old ash and tends to grow very slowly (only around a centimetre a year). Here at the resort, we conduct regular mosaic burns to reduce the fire load and to help our native plants propagate.
The end of October saw in an historic day in Fraser Island’s history as the Federal Court of Australia conducted a special on-country sitting at Kingfisher Bay to award Native Title over the land and waters of Fraser Island to the traditional owners of the land – The Butchulla.
|Young and old joined in the celebrations. Pic: Jocelyn Watt|
This decision is a significant achievement for all of the local Butchulla people who have worked for many years to be recognised as traditional owners of K'Gari, as the island is known to them. This ruling allows the Butchulla people to hunt, fish and camp on the island as well as conduct traditional ceremonies (but doesn’t affect existing rights on the island in terms of freehold land, National Parks and conducting tours).
|Traditional dancing at Kingfisher Bay. Pic: Jocelyn Watt|
Back in our July blog, we mentioned Queensland scientists were searching for a century-old Aboriginal burial ground. This month, in another significant milestone for the Butchulla people, 70 indigenous graves were discovered on Fraser.
The graves were likely dug during operation of the island’s ill-fated Bogimbah Creek Mission (1897-1904) where many drug or alcohol dependent Aborigines, and those that lived in areas sought after for agricultural development, were relocated into an area on the western side of Fraser Island under a government-run scheme. Tragically, conditions were appalling and many died from disease and malnutrition.
|Radars towed behind a research vehicle Pic: USC|
As you can see, it's been nothing short of remarkable here on the world's largest sand island and we’re looking forward to a great summer ahead where we can soak up the relaxed beach atmosphere and the phenomenal environment around us. Hope to see you soon, Ranger Bec.