Pollack Swamp Food & Fibre Day

An interactive event highlighting local indigenous wetland foods and fibre

Pollack Swamp Food & Fibre Day

An interactive event highlighting local indigenous wetland foods and fibre

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

The perspective of viewing native wetlands in Australia as “productive” is a relatively new and controversial way of viewing things. In the past the most common way of viewing wetlands has been that of conservation and
restoration. Therefore presenting the idea that wetlands can be productive, was challenging to navigate. 

The solution

The solution was to invite community members into the local Pollack Swamp so they can witness for themselves the current state of the wetland. As the wetlands have been actively managed for the past few years it is important the surrounding community understands why and how this is done. The context of wetland productivity allows the community to understand the value of actively managing and rehabilitating the site.

The impact

The food and fibre day was organised in conjunction with Dr John Conalin and the focus of the day was the UN’s Decade of Nutrition which runs from 2016-2025. The Decade of Nutrition provides a focus on the continuing progress towards food security for the world population. With John’s experience working in Asian communities in relation to food security and how native wetland foods contribute to food security, we were privileged to have him present on the day. The focus topics for the day included local Indigenous wetland foods and also fibres. The day included a field trip to the pollack swamp with presentations from Dr John Conalin, Dan Hutton, Colin Pardoe and Roseanne Farrant. After the field trip the group convened at Western Murray to view displays and taste test the local foods. 

The Nutrition Decade marks a new ambition and direction in global nutrition action and aims to accelerate the implementation of the ICN2 commitments, achieve the global and diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD) targets by 2025, and contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Nutrition Decade provides an enabling environment for all countries, regardless of their income, the nature of their malnutrition challenges or the characteristics of their food and health systems, to ensure that action is taken by governments and stakeholders to develop and implement inclusive policies aimed at ending all forms of malnutrition.

The field day was an opportunity for those that attended to physically see the Pollack wetland and understand the purpose that the wetlands historically held in providing for Indigenous communities. By having experts in the field that can work closely on the rehabilitation works, the attendees were able to understand the works from the different perspectives of archaeology, food productivity, fibre production and ecology.

Key facts

  • Attendees thoroughly enjoyed the day as it was the first time many of them had ever been out to the Pollack Swamp.
  • The conversation surrounding productivity in wetlands is new and hopefully a sign of change within the management of environments going forward.

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