Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung plant knowledge building project

The Narrap Unit – the Natural Resource Management (NRM) department of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Corporation - are committed to restoring and managing the health of Country. Our team of dedicated land management professionals deliver high quality environmental services, that blends conventional NRM practices with Wurundjeri cultural approaches. To support the Unit’s objectives of providing meaningful and secure employment opportunities for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people and the local Aboriginal community more broadly, we are actively developing training and capacity building projects.

The Narrap Unit are currently developing plant identification booklets for the rangers to use in the field. They will include detailed information of indigenous, native and introduced species in Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. The booklets will assist rangers on ground to identify plants and understand the ecological function and niche of indigenous species. Treatment methods and optimal timing for the management of weed species will be outlined for introduced species most likely encountered in the field.

Research methods for this project include referring to Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) plant lists, publicly available documentation, On Country identification activities and consultation with Narrap staff.

The booklets will be organized around the Wurundjeri seasons, and make linkages to known seasonal flora and fauna indicators. Accompanying the botanical and ecological information for indigenous plant species are Woi-wurrung names and their traditional and cultural uses. Knowledge and stories from Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders are woven throughout, and the booklets may also incorporate artwork in the final design.

Sean Hunter, the Manager of the Narrap Unit, regards this as a project that will help the team grow, and ‘learn about the plants of Wurundjeri Country’. He also sees it as a valuable ‘intergeneration knowledge opportunity’ allowing future generations to understand more about Wurundjeri Country and culture.

Not only will these booklets include photographs of plants at different stages, there’s also space for rangers to attach plant clippings collected on sites. In this way, the project encourages interactive and proactive learning for staff and community. Whilst the final version of the booklets will include printed hardcopies, they’ll be able to be reviewed and updated in future years ensuring they remain relevant and up-to-date as the Narrap Unit evolves.

This project supports the Narrap Unit and staff to continue deliver On Country management work and develop further capacity and skills in NRM. The resources produced will collate and consolidate important knowledge and strengthen the Narrap Unit in caring for Country.