This report and position paper from the Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) addresses the conservation and recovery of Australia’s unique biodiversity, particularly in the State of Victoria. It summarises the current state of reviews, responses and policies in Victoria in the broader Australian and global context, with recommendations for action.
Over time, wattles have been used for a wealth of purposes such as a source of fuel, medicines, perfume, feed for animals, woodcrafts and in particular, food. It is the pods of these species that contain wattleseeds, a bush food that became a staple over 6,000 years ago as part of the traditional diet for many Indigenous peoples. Mostly found growing in the arid regions of Central Australia, Acacia victoriae, is the most common edible species.
Associate Professor Duane Hamacher is at the intersection of Indigenous Knowledge and modern science. He came to Australia to complete a Masters in astrophysics and a PhD in Indigenous studies. At astrophysics conferences, he sometimes struggled to convince peers that Indigenous Knowledge was anything more than folklore. But Indigenous science is dynamic, adapting to changes in the land, seas and skies, built on careful observation over 65,000+ years.
There is no denying that climate change is here. In many of the articles I have written for the Royal Society of Victoria, climate change seems to be a common thread woven among them. In Australia, this means warmer temperatures, less rainfall, and more extreme weather events. How do we ensure our land is ready for the change that is already happening and continues to intensify? Years of attending RSV presentations only reinforce in my mind our desperate need for better land management.