2021 KPMG Indigenous Land Management Award – SA

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Mark Koolmatrie

“I want to acknowledge the great work that Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Board have done for me. I want to acknowledge John Fargher and the Nature Conservancy as the landholder to allow us as a people to be able to do work and to learn and relearn country. We’re on a journey here and for us it’s been difficult. I want to acknowledge all of the young people that are involved in our projects, the elders that are learning and relearning country.” Mark Koolmatrie, Ngarrindjeri Story-Teller and Learner.

Mark is an enthusiastic Ngarrindjeri story-teller and learner who is engaging Aboriginal people and landholders in a process of re-learning about Aboriginal values and land management practices in the management of aquatic ecosystems in the Ngarrindjeri nation, especially Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps.

Mark conducts tours of country, provides mentoring and cultural awareness engagement with school students, and is now supporting a small group of Aboriginal youth to re-learn lost knowledge and start applying that to land restoration in the Ngarrindjeri nation. Mark is active, engaging and inclusive, and is both supporting landcare and also bringing people together and contributing to the healing process.