This week is NAIDOC Week for 2020. Today, and always, Greenfleet acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and pays respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging. In particular, we honour their deep connection to Country and pay respect to their knowledge and wisdom in caring for Country.
Generally celebrated in July, each year NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is an opportunity to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and there are many events listed on the NAIDOC Week website that you can attend.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
This recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. As an organisation focused on the restoration of land in Australia, Greenfleet recognises the benefit of working together with Indigenous Australians to restore our ecosystems.
In honour of NAIDOC Week, we wanted to reflect on a project we completed in Kowanyama Shire. A remote community located on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Kowanyama means a “place of many waters” in the Yir Yoront language. The community includes the Kokoberra, Yir Yoront (or Kokomenjen) and Kunjen clans, who each have language and other cultural differences.
Greenfleet had the privilege of working with the community in 2018 when we partnered with Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council to plant more than 1,000 native and fruit trees.
We were joined by Kowanyama State School students, members of the RISE Ventures’ Youth Program, council members and employees from long-term Greenfleet supporter, Telstra, to complete the planting, which spanned 2.5kms. The trees will become a fresh source of fruit for the community that has limited access to fresh-food deliveries. When the trees mature, they will fruit with bush lemons, mulberries and mangoes.
In 2020, the trees are growing well, and the Market Garden has been transformed. Still in their infancy, we expect to see the trees fruiting in the next 12 months.
The first photo, taken in 2018, shows the native and fruit-bearing trees just after planting. The second photo was taken in May 2020 and shows how much they have grown in just two years and we’re excited to continue watching the progress of this project over the coming years.
This NAIDOC Week, the Greenfleet team are reflecting on how we can further support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and look forward to listening and learning throughout NAIDOC Week events.