A neglected patch of land choked with litter and bristling with prickly pear weeds will be restored to its former glory, thanks to the efforts of Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council.
They've teamed up with Griffith City Council, Riverina Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Services, and the RFS to breathe life back into an area of Aboriginal land near Lake Wyangan.
On Friday they launched the Mallinson Road Environmental and Cultural Restoration Project, which will involve Aboriginal cultural burns to prevent bushfires and get native plants to spring up from the ashes.
They've got quite a job ahead of them; after years of neglect they will be working to undo decades of spreading weeds, soil erosion, and accumulated litter.
But they've already pulled together an enthusiastic team of people who are eager to see the land transform back to the way it once was.
One of them is Griffith Aboriginal Land Council CEO Robert Carroll, who has been fighting for almost two decades to see this day come.
He lodged the claim for the land back in 1996, but it wouldn't be until 2015 that the deed to the land would be handed over to the Griffith Aboriginal Land Council.
"That's a lifetime; many of our people have passed away since then," Mr Carroll said.
Over the next few years the land council would fight tooth and nail to secure funding to fix the land, eventually striking gold with the NSW Government's Protecting Our Places fund.
Patience has paid off 23 years later in the year 2019, and now the Aboriginal people of Griffith are ready to getting their hands dirty and breathing life back into their land.
Office of Environment and Heritage officer Gary Currey said the wait would be worth it.
"It's taken us a while to get here, but it's a journey we all had to go through and hopefully we can get some really good results," Mr Currey said.
He predicts that within a few years the land will once more become home to a thriving ecosystem of native animals and plants.
"There's some native seed stock out there that is just waiting to burst out and come to life," Mr Currey said .
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