Joint statement on Indigenous duck hunting initiative
Field & Game Australia (FGA) is proud to announce a new initiative with the Gunditjmara people in Victoria.
The initiative will see FGA partner with the Gunditjmara people to develop and deploy a hunting educational project for Gunditjmara youth, getting them back into country and providing the skills and knowledge to live and hunt on their land.
FGA CEO Dean O’Hara said, “This is a very exciting project where hunters will train the youth of the Gunditjmara people to get them back into country.”
‘The Gunditjmara people have hunted their land for thousands of years and to have the opportunity to partner with them to support a new generation of indigenous hunters is a great honor.” Mr O’Hara said.
“Hunting duck as a source of food is an integral part of the culture of the Gunditjmara people and I hope that the Victoria Government understands the importance of duck hunting to indigenous people.” Mr O’Hara said.
FGA is committed to ethical and sustainable hunting which includes harvesting ducks for the table.
Eugene Lovett, a Mabo signatory said, “My people are excited by this opportunity to partner with Field & Game Australia. Hunting the land is something my people have done for generations and this initiative will help educate our youth and allow them to provide food for their families including duck, quail and kangaroos.” Mr Lovett said.
Elder Greg Lovett said, “We are proud to stand side by side with Field & Game Australia to continue the tradition of hunting and harvesting game from our land to feed our communities.”
Beryl Booth Aboriginal People Embassy Ambassador also put her support behind the initiative. ‘The Aboriginal Peoples Embassy is pleased to support this project and hopes that this is the first of many to be delivered throughout Victoria and beyond” Mrs Booth said.
FGA’s strategic partner Beretta Australia has also pledged support for the project.
Lorenzo Scribani-Rossi, Business Development Manager Beretta Australia said, “When Field & Game Australia approached us about this opportunity, we were more than delighted to come on board and provide support for this exciting project.”
Mr O’Hara called on the Victorian Government to ensure Indigenous communities can participate in the sustainable and ethical harvest of game birds in 2020.
“This is another reason why the Victorian Government must trust in their independent statutory authority (Game Management Authority), trust in the assessment process that this government put in place, trust in the science, facts and data provided during the assessment process where both hunting and those opposed to hunting were engaged equally, and announce the 2020 Victorian Duck season in 2020.” CEO Dean O’Hara said
Eugene Lovett and Elder Greg Lovett also said, ‘We, and the Gunditjmara people, support a duck season for 2020”.
Beryl Booth said, ‘I also support a duck season in Victoria for 2020”.
FGA members have helped the Gunditjmara people over the past 2 years by providing harvested game for the community.
“This is the next step in supporting the Gunditjmara youth to get back into country”. “Harvested food is also supplied to homeless indigenous people in Melbourne so again, to be a part of this great Victorian initiative is an honor’ Mr O’Hara said.
“We already have programs in place in the Northern Territory providing harvested game food for indigenous people. This further demonstrates our commitment to ethical and sustainable hunting and providing that harvested food for the table.”
Portland Heywood Field & Game will run the project with support from the National office.