Led by UOW researcher Dr Anthony McKnight, a team of staff, students and community members are helping flora and fauna on Yuin Country in the Snowy Mountains to recover from the summer’s devastating bushfires.

Richard Swain has a deep connection to his Country. The Wiradjuri man grew up in the Snowy Mountains and was taught by his father and grandfather the ancient laws and traditions of his people.

So after the catastrophic bushfires of last summer, Swain took it upon himself to start trying to heal his Country in the old ways.

For more than six weeks, the Indigenous river guide and Kosciusko lore man wandered the devastated landscape looking for koalas and other injured animals from his people’s totems, then taking them to vets to get assessed before returning them to Country.

“He and his wife were travelling all over the Cooma area, getting the animals, driving them for hundreds of kilometres to vets and then bringing them back, all on their own,” says Dr Anthony McKnight, a lecturer specialising in Indigenous education at the UOW’s School of Education.

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