Engaging the Indigenous community

Person planting a sapling in an grassy-woodland landscape 

ACT NRM delivers its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement initiatives through the ACT Aboriginal Natural Resource Management (NRM) Facilitator. This position is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

The ACT Aboriginal NRM Facilitator:

  • facilitates engagement and consultation
  • supports the protection of traditional knowledge
  • promotes capacity building
  • manages projects.


Priorities for Aboriginal engagement in the ACT have been developed by the community for the community, through a process facilitated by the ACT NRM Facilitator.

Current priorities have been identified as:

  • record and apply traditional land management knowledge and methods
  • increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth involvement in Aboriginal NRM
  • increase Aboriginal NRM employment and enterprise
  • help address Aboriginal community justice and health issues
  • increase Aboriginal community participation in NRM governance.

These priorities are consistent with national and ACT Government policies for Indigenous engagement.


Healthy Country, Healthy People Program

Since January 2015, the Healthy Country, Healthy People Program has been engaging with the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Men’s Group to provide cultural and environmental activities for its members. Activities have included tree planting, learning about scarred trees, basket weaving, bush tucker identification and basic land management skills.

Culture and Country Program

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are disproportionately represented in the prison population nationally and in the ACT. Since 2014, the Culture and Country Program has been using natural resource management related activities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees at the ACT Alexander Maconochie Centre to help build self-esteem, pride in traditional identity, knowledge and skills in leadership and natural resource management.

Ngunnawal Plant Use

  Ngunnawal Plant Use cover 

Looking after Country includes being knowledgeable about the balance of plants and animals in the landscape. Ngunnawal Plant Use is a field guide, developed in partnership with Ngunnawal Elders and their families, to capture and record traditional plant knowledge for 69 ACT and regional plants. Proceeds from the sale of the book support Aboriginal natural resource management in the ACT. Read more

Caring for the Cotter Catchment

Promoting Aboriginal engagement in the natural resource management sector enables the sharing and integration of traditional land management knowledge, promotes capacity building, and provides opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. The Caring for the Cotter Catchment project built the capacity of an Aboriginal land management team while also achieving significant native habitat restoration and revegetation outcomes in the Cotter watershed following the 2003 bushfire.

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