SWCC is committed to partnering with the South West Aboriginal community to provide opportunities to drive NRM planning and delivery.
The Cultural Connections project aims to build the capacity of Noongar people to be activity involved in NRM and increase their skills, expertise and confidence through practical training and local on-ground projects.
A dedicated and fully supported Conservation & Land Management (CLM) Certificate II Training & Employment program for Noongar people was developed in 2014, in a partnership between SWCC, Aboriginal corporations, educational institutions and local Noongar community representatives.
A total of 18 local Noongar people benefited from the program in some way over the year, with partial or full completion of Certificate II. A number of participants left the course early because they gained full-time employment elsewhere, opening up placements for others.
Nine participants successfully completed the program in June 2015 (4 in Narrogin and 5 in Bunbury) and as a result have developed a range of skills, qualifications and knowledge that will assist them to gain employment in the NRM, Landcare, local government and land management sectors.
The project has also assisted and supported the NRM and broader community to work more strategically with Aboriginal people to undertake on-ground and engagement activities. This involves SWCC providing advice, support and assistance in the areas of consultation, engagement and networking, to encourage NRM groups and Noongar people to work together right from the planning phase, through to implementation and celebration of achievements.
As part of this support, three Cross-Cultural Awareness workshops were held in 2015 to build knowledge and skills in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal engagement. These workshops attracted 69 participants from the NRM industry, local and state government, private industry, Aboriginal groups and wider community. The workshops also allowed the South West Aboriginal Land & Sea Council (SWALSC) to share information about the South West Single Noongar Claim and joint management opportunities.
Support for Aboriginal enterprise development in the South West is also a key priority of the project. SWCC has worked collaboratively with a number of Aboriginal corporations in NRM service delivery across all projects. SWCC will continue to work in partnership with the Noongar community to further develop opportunities for paid contract work for Aboriginal groups and individuals interested in working in the NRM sector. As part of this, SWCC will be employing a full-time Aboriginal trainee in 2015, to provide them with a range of on-the-job skills in NRM.
“Programs of this nature demonstrate the importance and the end results of a collective impact approach to capacity building and program development for our community.”
Jayson Sandiford, CEO, NEEDAC Ltd.
The South West NRM Region includes four of the six Native Title Regions in the South West: Gnaala Karla Booja, South West Boojarah 2, Wagyl Kaip & Southern Noongar, and Ballardong People.
3 Aboriginal people in tertiary training
18 Aboriginal people in tertiary training
2 NRM groups with improved knowledge and skills
12 NRM groups with improved knowledge and skills