Let us drive for a change

Gemma Wilson

“It’s time the Australian Government listened to Aboriginal people when it comes to fire prevention. 

Steffensen, an Indigenous fire practitioner who has been teaching traditional burning practices for the past two decades, has appeared on Insights and ABC’s Q&A in programs responding to the recent bushfires sweeping across the country. 

 “Everyone is so fractured and not working together, we have so many different mindsets in this country… We need to start opening our hearts, opening our minds and start working together and in every region around Australia now, there are communities that are wanting to get cultural fire projects going and there are Rural Fire Service willing to support that and other agencies and the broader community are starting to understand that now.” 

Steffensen hopes the Government will allow him, and other fire practitioners, to educate others in the community about our ecosystems and the right times to burn to help decrease fuel loads on the ground. 

“Just once in this nation’s history can you just listen to Aboriginal people, our knowledge system… There’s an intelligence there and we have all this information for looking after the environment and we’ve not been tapped in to and it’s so frustrating… We need to have change. We need change right across the board.” 

Watch this extract from ABC’s Insight program to find out more.