Working on and Managing Country

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community have provided strong feedback that career pathways and possible future employment is a key action that will underpin community involvement in natural resource management issues.

Desired Outcomes

Employment programs working on Country supporting individuals their families and the wider community to strengthen cultural identity, protect environmental areas, develop industry skills and create economic independence.

Future Investment Focus

Identify career and training pathways that lead to employment opportunities for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community working in cultural heritage and natural resource management.

Priority Areas:

This investment helps Traditional Custodians and the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to maintain the responsibility of managing Country. This investment may need to be innovative partnering with other sectors i.e. philanthropic, academic, health and social justice.

Models may include:

  • linking the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community entry level Natural Resource Management (NRM) employment programs (e.g. Australian Government’s Green Army program)
  • linking NRM organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to existing Australian Government programs and sponsors (i.e. Working on Country program, developers, private sponsors)
  • supporting volunteer groups developing skills in cultural heritage and natural resource management (i.e. Landcare and community groups)
  • supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ranger teams (i.e. ACT Parks and Conservation Indigenous Ranger Program, Yurung Dhaura Aboriginal Land Management)
  • supporting targeted work experience placements with NRM organisations and businesses.

Building on Existing Investment:

The ACT Regional Body and ACT Government previously supported the Yurung Dhaura Aboriginal Land Management team working in the Lower Cotter Catchment. Team members have won numerous awards for their work on Country including a National Landcare Award. All trainees found paid employment or further study opportunities following completion of the traineeship including 3 who have advanced on furthering their careers in Aboriginal NRM.

Ginninderra Catchment Group has an Aboriginal Landcare Group.  One of the aims of this group is to provide trainee experience in looking after country for young Aboriginal People.

All three Catchment Groups supported an Aboriginal Green Army Team, which provided training and employment opportunities for nine young Aboriginal people.