Engaging youth

Participants of the Kickstart program. Youth are our future leaders. To prepare them for this role Aboriginal Natural Resource Management (Aboriginal NRM) invests in programs that assist in the advancement of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the community.

Future leaders

ACT Natural Resource Management (ACT NRM) will be facilitating a series of workshops throughout 2019 and 2020, aiming to strengthen leadership skills and capabilities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The program targets the needs of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community helping local youth become equipped to take on cultural and leadership roles.

The program objective is to assist the next generation of leaders to be multi-skilled and better equipped to face challenges and embrace opportunities. The program does this through exploring themes on:

  • heritage
  • climate change
  • governance
  • leadership
  • relationship building
  • mentoring
  • conflict resolution
  • tourism (interpretive)
  • traditional burning
  • conservation methods
Engagement on Country

Youth engagement is a fundamental part of Aboriginal NRM in the ACT. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the future leaders of the community. It is important that we prepare our youth for these roles by engaging them in environmental and cultural projects being delivered by ACT NRM.

Environmental projects that will engage youth from the community include:

The outcome of the engagement is to better foster community relationships, Create opportunities for a stronger Ngunnawal voice, increase community capabilities, assist in the health and wellbeing of the community, create opportunities for economic development and implement traditional land management techniques in a culturally appropriate way.


Research has shown that many Aboriginal youth experience difficulty in engaging with education, resulting in high absenteeism and often total disengagement with formal schooling. Providing a different type of experience in the school setting can lead to more positive feelings about school in general.

School connectedness, through approaches focused on cultural identity, skills and relationships, increases the likelihood that students will attend regularly and experience success. Using culture and land management enhances connection to Country and supports better educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The Kickstart My Career Through Culture program (Kickstart) works with and supports at-risk youth including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the ACT. Kickstart is a partnership between ACT NRM, the ACT Education Directorate, Yurauna Centre and the ACT Community Services Directorate.

The program engages Ngunnawal Elders and others within the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to share cultural knowledge with students, and includes field trips and cultural activities.

While the program focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, non Aboriginal students can also participate. This contributes to broader cultural awareness amongst peers and the wider school community.