Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Survey update from Walking Together – Balak Kalik Manya

Posted on 4 November, 2020 by Ivan

Harley Douglas, Project Manager with Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, provided an update on results from their community survey and workshops conducted for the Castlemaine and Bendigo communities (Central Victoria) during 2020. The visitor experience and use survey formed part of the Walking Together- Balak Kalik Manya Project, a four-year project committed to writing site-specific management plans for two sites within Dja Dja Wurrung Country: Kalimna Park (Castlemaine) and Wildflower Drive (Bendigo).

To view Harley’s presentation summarising results from the community survey – click here

There were some interesting findings from the surveys. The highest priorities for management actions within the parks were weed management, revegetation and nest box installation, closely followed by cultural burning. The least positive aspects for Kalimna Park were reported to be weed/environmental impact, rubbish and tracks/signage.

Q14: What management actions do you think should be prioritised for Kalimna Park and Wildflower Drive?


Please see the following summary regarding the community consultation, courtesy of Harley.

The visitor experience and use survey was powered by SurveyMonkey and the data collected was collated through the assistance of Parks Victoria’s Social Science Officer. From the 172 responses received, a summary report has been created merging the data into bar graphs, pie charts and other valuable graphics that quickly summarise demographics and usage of the parks.

Djaara community workshops were facilitated remotely to allow for the current COVID-19 restrictions. Two, two-hour sessions were held over Zoom for interested Djaara members to have input into the values, threats, issues, and opportunities associated with both parks. Djaara members workshopped ideas relating to Dja Dja Wurrung’s Goals as listed in ‘Dhelkunya Dja- Dja Dja Wurrung Country Plan 2014-2034.’ The information gathered from our members will be used to develop management strategies, actions, and recommendations.

Issues and opportunities that we discussed in both Djaara and Community workshops:

  • Vehicle access and misuse
  • Weeds – Onground management
  • Cultural heritage (protection of existing and creation of new)
  • Illegal firewood collection
  • Rubbish dumping
  • Track creation/ Illegal track creation
  • Cultural burning
  • Story telling
  • Predators (cats, dogs, foxes)
  • Threatened species (Eltham Copper Butterfly, Pink-tailed Worm-lizard, Tuan)
  • Signage
  • Loop walks
  • Djaara employment
  • Prospecting
  • Creating open space
  • Education
  • Visitor areas
  • Carparking
  • Djaara employment
  • Community ownership

Like our Djaara members workshops, broader community workshops were facilitated over Zoom due to COVID-19 as well. We held back-to-back sessions with Castlemaine community members one night, and then the Bendigo community members the following night. In total, we had 38 members of the community participate: 26 in Castlemaine, 12 in Bendigo. We worked through a PowerPoint presentation allowing community the opportunity to speak to threats or values from their perspective. We had some productive conversations that may have got carried away and deviated from the original topic, but all very worthwhile information that will help inform our management plans. The idea of facilitating a large community forum online with many differing opinions and views frightened me, but everybody involved was very respectful of each other’s thoughts and opinions- so I just wanted to thank everybody for making the sessions run as smoothly as possible and contributing valuable information that can only come from members of the community.

So, where to from here? Now that we have received input from Djaara members and community members, we have begun drafting our management plans. We are aiming to have a draft version of our management plans available for public comment at the end of November 2020.

Harley Douglas
Project Manager- Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises Trading as Djandak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« | »