The role of Aboriginal cultural burning in preventing catastrophic bushfires was a focus of the second day of Forestry Australia's national conference.
A keynote presentation, Your Forests, Our Future by Tagalaka man Victor Steffensen shed light on the need for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to work together to look after the land.
The author of Fire Country and co-founder of Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation and the National Indigenous Fire Workshop, Steffensen is passionate about sharing cultural knowledge and believes Australia needs to engage with Aboriginal communities to better manage the land.
"The more the fires ravish our land, the more unhealthy our land becomes and the less opportunity it has to provide for us in the future," he said.
"It seems like we've lost our way and we need to regain that path of sustainability again, and that's where Indigenous knowledge has a lot of answers."
Forestry Australia president Bob Gordon said there was scope to work more closely with Aboriginal people around land management.
"At the moment, a lot of our fire management seems to be concentrating on expensive water bombers when it's too late," Mr Gordon said.
"We need to do the hard work around reducing fuel loads and there is a huge capacity to work with Indigenous people."
However, Mr Gordon said it would take decades to recalibrate the forests.
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"These forests were managed for tens of thousands of years on a regular burning cycle," he said.
"And suddenly it was stopped, and the whole ecosystem was disrupted.
"So it's a long-term investment."
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