ACT GovernmentNgunawal pathways

Caring for Ngunawal pathways: Integrating Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal NRM in Canberra’s northern reserves

Funded by the ACT Government under the 2016-17 Environment Grants program

Short summary

This project involves Ngunawal people in caring for part of a key ‘pathway’ in the Ngunawal landscape, and in the production of interpretative material focused on Canberra’s northern reserves


This project contributes to the following MCG programs:

Long summary

Molonglo Catchment Group received funding from the ACT Government under the 2016-17 Environment Grants program to enable Ngunawal cultural knowledge and traditional land management practices to be shared, applied and integrated in on-ground NRM works in Canberra’s northern reserves.

This innovative project involves Ngunawal people in caring for their country, focused by Ngunawal NRM ‘training’ field days on a significant Ngunawal cultural pathway that passes through present-day central Canberra. The project will produce site information brochures while providing Park Care group volunteers with an opportunity to undertake vegetation training & monitoring, revegetation (compliant to fire management requirements) and weed control (including management of Inner Asset protection zone) with cultural supervision.

The project emanates from a small Molonglo Catchment Group ‘seed’ project on 2.35-hectare Block 2 section 128 Yarralumla that was funded by ACT Environment grant in 2014-15, and again in 2015-16. That project focused on improving biodiversity value and ecological resilience while enhancing the cultural landscape context (recognising the overlapping Aboriginal, historical and present-day aspects) of a portion of threatened inner-city remnant of native woodland habitat, set close to the shoreline of Lake Burley Griffin.

A site management plan was produced as an outcome of the early projects and is being updated as work progresses. The ongoing commitment to the woodland habitat has strengthened relationships between Molonglo Catchment Group, Buru Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation, PCS Park Care groups, Greening Australia and Friends of Grasslands.

The community now refers to Block 2 as “Bullan Mura”, which means “women’s pathway” in Ngunawal language. The Ngunawal Pathway projects are providing a model with which to engage the wider community across the entire traditional Ngunawal territory.

Endangered species

Button Wrinklewort is listed as an endangered species in the ACT and NSW, and threatened in Victoria. The species was once widespread in south eastern NSW and the western plains of Victoria.

In March 2011, parts of Bullan Mura were registered as Button Wrinklewort habitat, together with other sections of Stirling Park (Yarralumla) and the Military Training area at Majura, the two largest populations (and representing the vast majority of the total plants nationally) of Button Wrinklewort in the ACT. The large size of the population is vital to the long-term viability of the species in the ACT.


$23,187 (includes $5,000 Vegwatch database)


Block 2 Yarralumla
ACT Government ACTMAPi 2014



This project commenced in January 2017 and is ongoing.

Button Wrinklewort Vegetation at Block 2 Yarralumla
Endangered species of Button Wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorhynchoides) and various other endemic native species are regenerating in the ‘No Mow’ areas on Bullan Mura.