2020: A Year In Review

2020 was a big year both in and out of the field. With community projects, heritage surveys, ranger training and many more key events, it was a pivotal year for the Terra Rosa team.

So, we thought we’d recap some of our favourite moments of 2020 in preparation for what will be a bigger and better new year.

Woodstock Abydos and Nullagine Signage Project

In March, we worked with the Palyku elders, local communities, the Palyku ranger team and signage company Publik, to design and install culturally appropriate and weather resistant signage in key locations across Palyku country. The locations include the Woodstock Abydos Protected Reserve and various women’s and men’s sites near the Irrungadji community in Nullagine.

This was a proud and important project for Palyku people. The signage depicts the significance, stories and protocols practiced within these cultural sites and aims to protect these places through creating awareness and understanding of cultural heritage. Palyku people and rangers have plans to install more signage across their country in the coming year with assistance and facilitation by Terra Rosa.

Palyku Healthy Water Program

As a part of a pilot program, we accompanied the Palyku rangers to remote Pilbara rivers, pools and springs, where the rangers assessed the conditions and health of important water places on their country. The rangers tested and assessed soil, pH levels, temperature and other parameters using modern water monitoring technologies.

The purpose of this program was twofold: the first, training Palyku rangers to become water quality specialists, and the second, assessing samples of these water places for health to create a baseline data set of water quality which can continue to be monitored over time. The program aims to ensure the preservation and protection of important water places on Palyku country for future generations while simultaneously providing a sustainable income for people living on country.

We can’t wait to help facilitate further ranger training programs on country this year and help develop essential skills in land management.

East Perth Cemeteries Exhumation Project

In August, the Terra Rosa team worked on one of the largest exhumations of human remains in Australia. This archaeological dig was completed after 10 months of work, helping to uncover the remains of 364 individuals from East Perth Cemeteries.

We are hoping this project provides significant research opportunities and sheds light on not only historical burial practices, but some of the people laid to rest at the site, too. We hope our work will be a starting point for further research in this area.[JO1] 

Minyiburru (Seven Sisters) Arts Project

We were proud to partner with the Budadee Foundation to help deliver the Minyiburru (Seven Sisters) Arts Project, highlighting the sacred heritage of the people and the land and passing down the knowledge of the Seven Sisters songline.

With funding from the Indigenous Language and Arts Grants, the event provided the opportunity for senior artists to mentor junior artists, practice traditional Palyku culture, share skills and hand down knowledge to younger generations.

The project was captured on film to ensure preservation of cultural knowledge and practices and was then presented to the Irrungadji community during a BBQ on the final evening of the project.

We have more community projects like the Minyiburru Arts Project in the works for the new year and we can’t wait to get involved!

While 2020 was a challenging year for us all, we are grateful to have been able to participate in a range of successful projects across WA and to continue working with some amazing groups and people.

We also have some exciting projects coming up this year, including continuing work on Yarnda Yirrigan, more ranger training programs and getting back in the field to do what we do best.

Stay tuned!