This is part of Judith's series 'Climate Change'.
Judith : "Fire is an important symbol in Aboriginal culture. This photograph depicts an Australian Aboriginal man making fire as part of a sacred ceremony. Fire holds spiritual meaning with stories and dance taking place around fire.
Before Europeans arrived Australian Aboriginals practiced fire management. But as at 13 December 2019, fires burning across Australia since October had burnt almost 3,000,000 hectares, destroyed over 700 houses and claimed 6 lives.
One fire extending 1,150 square miles is only an hour's drive from Sydney. Fires also rage across Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania.
The Bureau of Meteorology states that climate change has led to an increase in extreme heat events and raised the severity of drought, with predictions that summer conditions would be similar to 2018/19, the hottest summer on record. It is stated that the climate emergency is “clear and unequivocal”.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to dismiss accusations linking the crisis to his government's policies, including allowing Adani’s coal mining proposal to proceed and their plans to take up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Suttor River. A former Queensland government water chief says the government has "no clue" what Adani's mine, and others, will do to the State's underground water sources .
Quoting David Claudie in a Creative Spirits article on Aboriginal Fire Management : “The problem is not the fire, it’s people with no proper relationship with the land.”