Wirrinyah Pty Ltd
Wirrinyah Pty Ltd is a local conservation, and land management service that focuses on working with local governments, businesses, and landholders to restore, conserve, and protect Indigenous cultural sites and Australia’s native flora and fauna.
Managing Director of Wirrinyah, Yugara woman Lynda Maybanks aims to have Indigenous land management practices revived, acknowledged and respected throughout Australia.
“I started Wirrinyah about a year ago to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and land management practices into local councils and state government, to care for the national reserved areas,” Lynda said.
Wirrinyah’s values of survival, culture, respect, and responsibility drive them to care for Country by continuing to revive and practice Indigenous culture through land management.
“Our whole purpose is to revive our culture and connection to Country, in a way that will encourage reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” Lynda said.
“… Our whole purpose is to revive our culture and connection to Country, in a way that will encourage reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,”– Lynda Maybanks
After a few devastating years of environmental concerns, many in local governments and councils understand that they need to change and are looking toward Indigenous practices to manage the land under their purview more effectively. Wirrinyah is working on restoration plans for businesses and councils – providing advice and guidance about the fundamental resources needed to conserve and restore heritage sites and native flora and fauna.
“The fires in 2019, showed how unhealthy Country becomes without constant cultural burning practices,” Lynda said. “As a result of that realisation, we have been approached by many different land holders asking if we can do cultural burns.”
Two hundred years of colonisation has resulted in many cultural burning practices being forgotten or forsaken. Lynda is on a mission to change that.
“By training with our neighbouring tribe, the Wakka Wakka people, alongside the National Firesticks Alliance, we are able to revive these practices and expand cultural knowledge,” Lynda said. “There are many who are committed to becoming practitioners. But it takes around three years – simply because of the wealth of knowledge needed.”
Wirrinyah is also currently involved in the restoration of a 4,000-year-old sandstone rock art site in an old chalk mine, Challawong Rock. Wirrinyah aims to restore the site and create it into an area that the public can visit with Traditional custodians.
“The rock art is engraved, not painted, but the area is full of risks, so we are currently developing a restoration plan to allow the site to be back to its former glory,” Lynda said. “The site is a rich part of our history, and we would like to share that and provide knowledge to our community.”
First Australians Capital (FAC) has been working alongside Wirrinyah to support them on their journey.
“The support from FAC has been awesome. I haven’t yet received any funding from FAC, but I have access to business development support. Michelle Lilley, our Business Relationship Manager, has been awesome,” Lynda said. “She really puts things into perspective for me especially when I am stressing out about something. It’s just really deadly to have someone who understands the experience and knows what they’re talking about.”
“I am very lucky to be able to talk to her. As with a lot of First Nations people who own businesses, I’m the first in my family to do so. It’s not a normalised thing for Indigenous people, so it’s been amazing to have someone like Michelle to talk to”.
First Australians Capital recently supported Wirrinyah in securing a line of credit for its business operations and meets with the business on a fortnightly basis to continue supporting the development of its strategic and operational plans.
To learn more about Wirrinyah, visit their website: Wirrinyah Conservation Services