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VANESSA CAVANAGH, RACHAEL CAVANAGH, & DEB SWAN on Ancestral Fire Regimes /205

For The Wild

Science & Medicine

It’s been almost a year since the 2019 wildfires that hurled across Australia began. We vividly recall harrowing images of burnt orange skies, vast swaths of scorched forest, and our beloved kin searching for shelter amidst one of the most intense wildfires. It’s estimated that nearly 30 million acres caught fire, over 20% of Australia’s forests were burnt, and around one billion animals perished. In this episode, we revisit this event with Vanessa Cavanagh, Deb Swan, and Rachael Cavanagh while also digging deeper to explore the historical land mismanagement that intensified these brushfires and the power and importance of cultural burning. Vanessa Cavanagh is an Aboriginal woman with Bundjalung and Wonnarua ancestry. Vanessa is a Ph.D. candidate and Associate Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Deborah Kim Swan is a Ngarrindjeri mimini, with kinship affiliation to Darkinjung and Awaba Country. Deborah currently works for Transport New South Wales as a Culture & Heritage Officer. Rachael Cavanagh is a Minjungbal woman from the Bundjalung/Yugambeh Nations of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Rachael currently works as an Aboriginal Partnerships Liaison for Forestry Corporation of New South Wales and is the Principle Cultural Heritage Advisor for Currie Country Foundation. Music by Santiago Cordoba and Kaivalya. Visit our website at forthewild.world for the full episode description, references and action points.


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