A 700-year-old culturally significant tree which was set alight last week is being assessed by arborists and Indigenous cultural heritage officers, who are trying to safeguard its survival.
The birthing tree at Talbot was reported as being alight to the local CFA on Thursday night, with volunteers and locals spending the best part of 24 hours fighting the blaze and making sure a fire burning inside the tree's extensive hollows was extinguished.
CFA members confirmed on Monday the tree was no longer alight. Locals expressed gratitude for the support and goodwill they had received.
"So we have just checked this beautiful tree... she's resting cool tonight," wrote local Karen Greenwood.
"No sign of heat or smoke. Crossfingers and hope enough has been done to save her. Such an absolutely amazing job done by everyone... this is love and community."
In a media statement CEO of the Dja Dja Wurrung Corporation Rodney Carter said he and his community were saddened by attempts made to damage the tree.
"At this time our thoughts remain with our Elders, our people and our community who may feel hurt by this matter and encourage people to seek help if needed.
"The birthing tree, a culturally significant site to Dja Dja Wurrung people, especially Dja Dja Wurrung women. It is a place that has delivered generations of Dja Dja Wurrung people to Djandak (country). It is a location that holds cultural practices of ceremony, song, and stories that tie Dja Dja Wurrung people to this land, our culture, and our history."
Such an absolutely amazing job done by everyone... this is love and community- Karen Greenwood, Talbot resident
Mr Carter said the corporation and Dja Dja Wurrung people were determined to do their best to ensure the survival of the tree.
"Currently, DJAARA Cultural Heritage Officers and an arborist are assessing the damage but strive to save the tree from further injury."
"We say dumarr (thank you) to the Fagan family, Talbot community, CFA, DELWP, Central Goldfields Shire and Victoria Police for their diligent and prompt actions.
"We will continue to fight to save the tree as Dja Dja Wurrung history and culture cannot and will not be erased by the actions of others."
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