Beautiful trees, the trees that grow along the Australian landscape, are a long-held symbol of Australian identity and heritage.
Now a study has found they are also a symbol of cultural heritage.
Key points:The National Museum in Canberra has discovered a large number of ancient trees on the site where the statue of George Brown was built in 1858The National Park Service says it’s important to remember the past and preserve our heritage”There are over 100 million trees in the country, but for the past 150 years the trees have had a special place in the Australian psyche.
They have been there and are still there, standing on the banks of the Murray River, as a reminder of what it means to be a part of Australia,” said Sarah Eames, a researcher for the museum’s Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Heritage Program.”
They’re a symbol and a place of respect for our past and also a place where we celebrate our heritage.”
For the past two decades, the National Museum’s Aboriginal heritage program has been working to restore the Australian culture that has long existed on the Murray and adjacent areas, and to restore and preserve a significant portion of the trees.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when the Murray Valley was undergoing rapid industrial development, a number of old trees were felled and removed to make way for a new road.
The trees were subsequently donated to the National Park and the National Trust.
When the research project began, the park service had no knowledge of the tree preservation program, and it was only through an application to the federal government that the National Parks Service began to learn about it.
The trees have since been a central part of the museum, and an important part of their heritage.
It’s important for us to remember that these trees are part of our heritage, Ms Eames said.
“It’s very important to recognise that this is an Aboriginal heritage resource, but also a part a cultural heritage resource.”
She said the museum had found that many of the old trees on site were of Aboriginal descent, and that some had been cut down to make room for roads and new homes.
“When you’ve got a lot of trees around the Murray, it’s very obvious that you’ve been in contact with Aboriginal people,” Ms EAMES said.
“You can’t just walk past these old trees without being aware of their significance.”
The National Parks Agency and the Murray Country Council are responsible for managing and protecting the Murray for the Commonwealth.
They say they are continuing to research and learn about the history and significance of the land.
In a statement, the agency said: “The trees in question are protected under the Murray Act and are not considered to be part of Aboriginal heritage.”
“We hope to have a comprehensive review of the heritage on the land, and the current management plan, and other areas of the landscape in the next few years.”
The park service said it was working to ensure the preservation of the sites and that they were “protected from further disturbance”.
“While this will require some significant time, it is vital that we continue to work to ensure that the Murray is preserved and protected for future generations,” the agency’s statement said.
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