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Change of direction for Wail nursery

By Dean Lawson

Barengi Gadjin Land Council has launched new Dalki Garringa branding for historic Wail Nursery between Horsham and Dimboola.

Dalki Garringa will take the nursery, which provided plants for major revegetation projects in 1946, in a new direction.

Dalki Garringa means ‘good growing’ and since taking over the operation of the nursery, the land council has worked on a new plan for nursery operation.

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In keeping with aspirations of Traditional Owners, the nursery is focusing on native plants, including food species.

Nursery redevelopment will also help the land council protect cultural intellectual property and stories attached to each species. 

Land council acting chief executive Tim McCartney said the new branding marked the beginning of a new era at the nursery and the growing of plants important to Traditional Owners and the region.

“And while we respect the history of the nursery, what we want to develop at Wail is a modern approach to some of our traditions along with a new economic development opportunity for our people,” he said.

The Dalki Garringa launch is the first of several new economic development projects Barengi Gadjin Land Council is pursuing.

A new economic development strategy provides a direction for developing several opportunities in the region, including new tourism products, the native nursery, bush food and hospitality opportunities.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting Report, which has indicated there is a social economic return of $4.41 for every dollar invested, is supporting the development.

While Dalki Garringa Nursery is not yet open to the public, the nursery will have a website and plans to be active on social media through Facebook and Instagram.

Plans include initially providing people with opportunities to buy some special bushfood plant packages online.

Important role

The nursery is also working on providing plants for larger-scale planting  projects for organisations including Mallee Catchment Management Authority, Dja Dja Warrung, Hindmarsh Landcare Network and Greening Australia.

Mr McCartney said while there would be a strong focus on growing species endemic to the region, the nursery would also look to the future to grow species suitable for a changing climate and for bushfire-revegetation projects across the state. 

He said as a consequence there would be a significant focus on plants that provided value for environmental management and improving biodiversity.

“We believe the nursery, which has historically played an important role in providing plants for revegetation projects in the region as well as being a retail outlet for home gardeners, will have an important role in providing plants for innovative bushfood and produce plantings as an emerging new horticultural enterprise in the region,” he said.

“Launching in NAIDOC Week is recognition of an important milestone in the redevelopment of the nursery.”

The nursery development has attracted State Government funding through a $2-million Djakitjuk Djanga program, steering financial backing to Victorian Aboriginal businesses working to develop the industry.

It is one of 13 projects to gain funding support.

Djakitjuk Djanga translates to ‘country’s food’ in Dja Dja Wurrung language.

The Djakitjuk Djanga grants are helping Aboriginal Victorian-owned businesses expand operations and trial commercial production of native plants for food and botanicals. 

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the program contributed to the development of an authentic Victorian native foods and botanicals industry.

“It celebrates the rich variety of native plants that add a unique Australian touch to products,” she said.

“We’re so proud to partner with the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations to deliver the grants program and support the growth of this industry.”

The entire November 11, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!