VANESSA CAVANAGH is an Aboriginal woman with Bundjalung (NSW north coast) and Wonnarua (NSW Hunter region) ancestry. Vanessa is an Associate Lecturer, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, University of Wollongong. She has more than two decades of experience in environmental conservation including both the corporate and government sector.
By Vanessa Cavanagh, Jessica Weir, Bhiame Williamson, YES! magazine
The agency in charge of leading the recovery in bushfire-affected areas must begin respectfully and appropriately. And they must be equipped with the basic knowledge of our peoples’ different circumstances. It’s important to note this isn’t “special treatment.” Instead, it recognizes that policy and practice must be fit-for-purpose and, at the very least, not do further harm.