IN VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, AN ANCIENT labyrinth of waterways snakes across a once-volcanic landscape. This is the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, a vast aquacultural system the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people, who still call this country home, began constructing 6,600 years ago. Parts of the system are still in use today.
Ask locals about Budj Bim, and you’ll invariably be directed to Uncle Denis Rose. A Gunditjmara elder, Rose, who has lived here most of his life, cares for the complex as Project Manager of the Budj Bim Sustainable Development Project. His knowledge of this country and its history has earned him the honorific “Uncle,” a term of respect for Aboriginal elders. Bring up the title, however, and he’ll demur. “I don’t refer to myself as that, no,” Rose says. “I’m in a little bit of denial about my age.”
Read more at Atlas Obscura. Featured image: Australian bushfires, 2019. Public domain.