Video transcript: Growing together – Buchan Caves after the fires

[Vision: Welcome to Buchan Caves Reserve, Royal Cave sign and entrance to cave showing internal stalactites and stalagmites and columns]

Shay Terrick - Joint Management Ranger

I’m from Lakes Entrance, yeah, I’m a proud Gunaikurnai man.

[Vision: Gunaikurnai Land & Water sign. Shay and Terylene looking at reserve]

The Gunaikurnai Aboriginal Land and Waters Corporation, we work alongside Parks Victoria, DELWP and we pretty much manage our land and our country and try to preserve our cultural heritage.

Our ancestors used to travel from the coast up to the high country for the Bogong moths.

[Vision: Photograph of the bushfire]

So it might have been the 27th of November… that’s when the dry lightning struck and the bushfires really got going.

I was on autopilot, just because we were flat out just trying to save people’s homes, trying to, you know, save the community.

[Vision: Views of the reserve and damage done by the bushfires. Flagging around area where bridge was destroyed and being rebuilt]

We’re still recovering from, you know, certain areas of the bushfires.

Most of the bridges got burnt out because they were built, you know, when Buchan first opened so they were wooden.

We lost a few rooms as well.

As you can see all of the bushland surrounding the actual reserve got burnt.

[Vision: View of a burnt tree. Getting on with Bushfire Recovery Works at Buchan Caves Reserve sign. View of newly constructed bridge. Walking track signage]

Since the bushfires come through we got some contractors in along with Parks and they’ve, you know, rebuilt some of the bridges that got burnt and we’ve also rebuilt a retaining wall and we’ve opened up a few of the tracks that no-one has been able to access since the bushfires.

[Vision: View of track and park entrance]

Future works is we’re going to hopefully put in a culture trail soon and, you know, just maintain the park and get it looking the way it was before the bushfires come through.

[Vision: View of Aboriginal and Park flags. View of creek]

Connection to country for me means everything, like this is where I grew up, this is what I know, this is home and I want my kids to, you know, feel the same so I try to teach them to be proud of who you are and never take it for granted.

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