This area of sclerophyll forests and box grassy woodlands in south eastern NSW sits on Songlines between mountains and sea within Country that both Bidhawal and Yuin Peoples have cared for tens of thousands of years.
European colonisers forced out the First People in the mid 19th century and exploited the small open tracts of land they traditionally managed to create cattle stations. One of these tracts was the geographically isolated Yambulla valley.
When Yambulla's current custodian, Jim Osborne, inherited the 1500ha parcel encompassing the Yambulla valley and Yambulla Peak in 2010, he had a vision of restoring the natural ecology but soon realised that it would take more than just removing livestock and spraying blackberry.
Forming the vision for Yambulla has been a gradual process. Countless discussions with First Nations people, conservationists, ecologists and consultants, with no set course in mind but all underpinned the idea that this has always been shared land and should continue to be so.
But what does it really mean to share Country? Are we, as part of this coloniser society, even capable of it?
Yambulla is a place to ask these questions. And a place to test out possible answers. Finding ways for many land uses, benefiting many people, to sustainably co-exist and complement each other. A place to trial new models for collaborative, productive and restorative land management practices that other landholders can adopt.
It is our vision that Yambulla will become a shared and multi-generational, self-sustaining entity. Initially funded by Jim and like-minded partners. And eventually sustaining itself through a range of not-for-profit enterprises that will support First Nations Culture, conservation, research, education and knowledge-sharing.
Meeting today’s challenges of managing land in Australia starts with acknowledging our shared responsibility for Country. Yambulla’s core mission is to explore all the implications that entails for private landholders and to prove that it will lead to better outcomes for us all.
Learn more about our progress here.