NSW’s first Aboriginal Landcare Officer to be appointed

North Coast Regional Landcare Network coordinators and volunteers engaging with Aboriginal Elders at Arrawarra Headland.

 

LANDCARE on the North Coast is embarking on an Aboriginal engagement program called ‘CountryCare’ which will employ an Aboriginal Landcare Officer – the first such position in the State.

“The position of Aboriginal Landcare Officer has been advertised recently and is currently going through a recruitment process this week,” Josh Keating, Coordinator with North Coast Regional Landcare Network, told News Of The Area.

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“Hopefully we will have the new Officer working with us in the next few weeks.

“Engaging an Aboriginal Landcare Officer will allow Landcare to overcome some of the cultural challenges that come with trying to build relationships and develop collaborative ideas for environmental projects.

“Landcare sees common objectives in the environmental work it does and the land management
activities many Aboriginal organisations undertake,” said Josh.

“For that reason, the idea of working together and sharing ideas, knowledge and doing joint projects is a core focus of this position.”

The new Aboriginal Landcare Officer position will provide support to Aboriginal groups, North Coast Landcare networks and Landcare groups to co-design collaborative activities that build capacity and partnerships – with a particular focus on projects that can assist with bushfire habitat recovery.

The program largely stems from recognition by North Coast Landcare that Aboriginal communities are the original land carers, with a focus on caring for the land, environment and communities
in our region.

Chair of the North Coast Regional Landcare Network Jim Kinkead said, “This is one of the most valuable
things about community connection – it is just getting people together to connect and seeing how we
can evolve from there.

“Landcare is well placed to respond to the impacts of the Black Summer bushfires utilising our professional staff, local community groups and extensive network of volunteers,” Jim said.

In addition to helping burnt bushland recover by controlling weeds and providing replacement habitat such as nest boxes, Landcare also plays a big role in protecting and maintaining the unburnt habitats that provide critical refuge for wildlife.

The North Coast Landcare Aboriginal engagement program is being supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

NSW Landcare Program – “Working Together” Aboriginal Engagement initiative – logo art by Jason Ridgeway, a proud Aboriginal artist from the Dunghutti Nation on the NSW Mid North Coast.

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