Benefits of Indigenous Fire Practices

Craig Reucassel meets with Indigenous fire practitioners to explore the benefits of cultural burning as a land management strategy and to reduce the risk of major bushfires.

Suitable for Years:  3–4, 5–6, 7–8, 9–10

Things to think about

  1. 1.What do you know about how planned and controlled burns are used to reduce the risk of a bushfire? Have you heard of “cultural burning”? What do you think it means?
  2. 2.Where in Australia are cultural burning practices most common? What are three reasons for cultural burning identified by the Indigenous fire practitioner, Victor Steffenson? What are the benefits of cultural burning for the local wildlife?
  3. 3.Planned and controlled burns, including cultural burning, are not always popular with community members. Why do you think this may be the case? What is your opinion?
  4. 4.Learn more about the benefits of Indigenous fire practices. Investigate if land management and fire agencies in your state or territory are participating in cultural burning partnerships with Indigenous fire practitioners.


The Big Weather resources include information and images about natural hazards (including bushfires and floods) that some students may find distressing. Educators should ensure that they preview this content to ensure it meets the needs of their students.


These discussion notes have been provided by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR). AIDR is supported by its partners the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, AFAC and the Australian Red Cross.

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Many of these resources and activities have been developed in consultation with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that the program meets NSW curriculum outcomes for Stages 3, 4 & 5.