A new round of students have started a land management course designed to support Traditional Owners work on Country.
It follows the highly successful first Certificate III of Conservation and Land Management held in 2018 at the Holmesglen Institute, which saw all of the graduates employed in land management roles after the course.
The course, which has been given the name Warreen Beek Rangers by the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, has been designed specifically for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to learn skills to work on Country, providing accredited training in skills such as pest plant control, revegetation, construction, chainsaw use, occupational health and safety and cultural studies.
Students have been working in coastal areas and on properties that have conservation covenants, providing landholders with the chance to understand traditional knowledge while the students can learn landcare skills such as plant identification and threatened species conservation techniques.
Conservation covenants are voluntary agreements that are tied to titles and protect habitat, even after a property changes hands.
The Bunurong Land Council partnered with Trust for Nature to deliver the course and provide technical skills and future employment opportunities for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians.
The Certificate is supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Port Phillip Bay Fund which protects the health of the Bay, including its coastal and broader catchment areas.
The Land Council’s CEO Dan Turnbull said, “It’s been extremely encouraging to have neighbouring Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal Victorians working collaboratively with Bunurong Traditional Owners on Bunurong Country in order to nurture our broader Port Phillip Bay traditional lands and coasts.
“The Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation appreciates the Trust’s facilitation of the Warreen Beek Rangers program which has ultimately resulted in getting Bunurong people back on and learning about and caring for Bunurong Country.”
Trust for Nature’s Port Phillip and Westernport Regional Manager, Ben Cullen, said it is encouraging that the Bunurong Land Council got funding support to run the course again.
He said, “There are so many opportunities for the graduates, a wide range of organisations have conservation jobs, such as local councils, natural resource management groups and other government organisations.
“This year the Warreen Beek Rangers will have a focus on working on properties to improve Port Phillip Bay and its catchment.”
Zoos Victoria and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority have also helped to support the course.
Main photo: Isaac Sainty (left) and Jayden Mills from the Wurundjeri community.
Inset photo: Wurundjeri community member and course participant David Mullins.