New scientific research result
If you follow the news you’ll have heard about a mob of scientists from NSW that have just put together a new report about aboriginal people and their use of fire on the landscape, bush and so-on. Apparently the first people in Australia about 50,000 years ago did not result in significantly greater fire activity, according to a landmark new research report on the continent’s fire history going back 70,000 years.
Despite a widely held belief that the frequent use of fire by Australian Aboriginal people resulted in vegetation change, spurring growth and other environmental impacts in prehistoric times, the most comprehensive study of Australian charcoal records has found they actually had no major impact on fire regimes.
The arrival of European colonists after 1788, however, resulted in a substantial increase in fire activity, according to the report by an international team of 19 scientists led by palaeontologist Dr Scott Mooney, of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.
On large time scales, overall fire activity in Australia predominantly reflects prevailing climate, with less activity in colder glacial periods and more in the warmer interglacial, the study found.
“Ideas about prehistoric fire continue to influence debates concerning natural resource management, with suggestions that Aboriginal-like fire management – that is, frequent and low- intensity fires – could prevent some of the massive bushfires we have seen in modern times in Australia” says Dr Mooney.
“Yet when we correlate the archeological evidence of increased human activity over the past 40,000 years with the composite charcoal record, we find no fundamental shift that could be associated with the colonization of Australia by Local Aboriginal people. While this may seem contrary to prior studies, it should be remembered that it is only very recently that enough charcoal records have become available at a continental scale to analyze them with robust statistical techniques.”
“Australia includes some of the most fire-prone landscapes on Earth and fire has major impacts on the native flora and fauna, on landscape stability and on the cycling of nutrients through soil and water.”
“Rather than prehistoric people, we found that the major driver of fire activity in Australasia has been shifts between warm and cool climatic periods.”
Australian plants have developed a variety of responses and morphological and reproductive adaptations to fire, including the widespread use of re-sprouting, suggesting that fire has played an important role over evolutionary time scales, the report notes. Many species require regular fire in order to persist, particularly evident in humid but intermittently drought-prone environments where eucalyptus trees dominate the vegetation.
The study was based on an analysis of charcoal records at 223 sites from Australasia, including New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Despite some gaps in place and time, the researchers say these data provide a comprehensive coverage of climate and vegetation types found in the region.
The team notes that the number and geographic distribution of charcoal records for the period between about 60,000 and 28,000 years ago makes Australasia one of the best-documented regions of the world during that time.
The records show that bushfire activity was high from about 70,000 to about 28,000 years ago. It then decreased until about 18,000 years ago, then increased again – a pattern consistent with fire and climate trends globally.
Details Provided by University of New South Wales
Honestly i cannot F*%&^king believe this? i apologise for my language!! I’ve had enough of this S**T!
Tonight i saw a WHITE Generation.one CEO standing on TV saying “oh we sacked the agency that dealt with her & unfortunately aboriginal people have taken offense to it?”
WTF?? to me it’s a damn given pal, someone probably the WHITE CEO on tv would have said to the advertising agency “Out of the 50 photos you gave us, these 5 are dark enough for the role we are trying to portray“.
They said she’s wasn’t dark enough for the role?
Really underneath their skin they were saying – “She’s NOT BLACK enough” and its pathetic that generation one throws it of on the agency. A generation.one staff member should have been at the castings then, and to top it off they would of had the final word so stand up and face it.
It’s a perfect example of what aboriginalaus.com stands for, why white people running aboriginal business, causes and alike doesn’t work. You can’t and never will know what we are feeling, what we’ve been through, what anger we feel, what its like to be aboriginal people everyday.
As we at aboriginal australia online say we run our own businesses, we run our own causes. Aboriginal people can and should work with ourselves, end of story!
Hear these radio interview clips
- Audio: Extended interview: Tarran Betterridge speaks with Hack reporter John Barrington (ABC News)
- Audio: Extended interview: Tim Gartrell speaks with 666 presenter Ross Solly. (ABC News)
- Related Link: Unleashed: I am a Wiradjuri woman … but too white to work
Now listen to Generation One back pedal
Indigenous advocacy group Generation One has apologized to an Aboriginal woman who says her job application was turned down because her skin was not dark enough.
Tarran Betterridge told triple J’s Hack that she applied for a job handing out pamphlets for the organization, but was told by ACT recruiting firm Epic Promotions that she did not look Indigenous enough for the role. Generation One was launched this year with the aim of ending Indigenous disadvantage. Chief executive Tim Gartrell says Generation One has severed ties with Epic Promotions.
“It’s not just embarrassing. It’s been hurtful to Tarran. It goes totally against what Generation One is all about. We were shocked and appalled when we heard this” he said. “Epic Promotions will no longer provide any services to us.”
Mr Gartrell says Generation One gave no directive for recruitment firms to hire people with Indigenous appearance.
“It’s correct that we asked for people of Indigenous heritage to work for us and with us. We have Indigenous people on our permanent staff. We encourage Indigenous people to be on our casual staff. We encourage companies who are doing recruitment activity to hire Indigenous staff” he said.
“That’s what Generation One is all about. We’re about Indigenous and non-Indigenous people coming together to end the disparity. “At no point did we issue directives asking for Indigenous people who look Indigenous, that is offensive. That is totally against what we stand for and we would not do that.”
Ms Betterridge says she felt the organization discriminated against her.
“I just think it’s unbelievable. I think the first thing we need to do before closing the gap is understand who Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are in this country” she said.
“I think before we can close the gap we need to understand that, because it’s obviously a major issue with people understanding … what we look like.” She says the organization needs to recognize disadvantage for all Indigenous Australians.
“Closing the gap within one generation seems like a perfect ideal, it’s what we need in this country, but after being told about the color of my skin, I just feel that maybe it’s a corporation that’s looking to close the gap for those that look Indigenous” she said.
“It’s not really looking at the broader perspective that Aboriginal people in Australia don’t necessarily look Aboriginal.”
Mr Gartrell has apologized to the University of Canberra student. “I unreservedly apologise to Tarran about what’s gone on” he said. “We’d be more than happy to talk to her about opportunity. Tarran is a great young person. She’s an Indigenous success story. We’re just really sad and disappointed that it’s come to this.”
Our last words?
I think Mr Gartrell is sad that he’s just dropped the cat out of the bag, it’s hard to be a successful business when ya just made an enemy of every single aboriginal person whom your apparently running the cause for?
9th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Conference:
The Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation will proudly host the 9th World Indigenous Women and Wellness Conference from Sunday 22nd August to Wednesday 25 August, 2010.
We welcome all people who are interested in or concerned with Indigenous women and wellness to get involved in the conference. We particularly encourage the participation of Indigenous women. Its inspiring to see aboriginal communities like this mob doing real on the ground work to innovate culture, im all for community, promotion and teaching our cultures to the public and children. The conference has some great themes along the lines thier words here:
To achieve our goal, we have five interconnected themes for paper and poster presentations by academics, practitioners, leaders and elders. These are:
Managing alcohol and drugs; Housing for health and wellbeing; Caring for country; Arts and culture; Homelessness; Relating to other cultural groups; Overcoming trauma.
Community connections; Engaging youth; Positive parenting; The role of the contemporary Indigenous man, woman and elder; Respecting elders; Violence and relationships; Leadership; Community concepts.
Traditional healing and health
Traditional healers and bush tukka; Belief systems; The role of Western medicine; Mental health.
Law and Justice
Sovereign rights; Political rights and self determination; Traditional and mainstream law working together;Incarceration and recidivism; Human rights; Displacement and migration; Interventions
Education, training and enterprise
Educating mainstream; Bilingual learning; Economic independence; Good education; Working for family/community.
If your interested in the conference or attending then head over to their website and get the full details, conference bookings, co-ordinator and program details are all there. Enjoy