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    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Gunggandji Rangers bring traditional expertise to caring for country

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Gunggandji Rangers bring traditional expertise to caring for country

    Yarrabah’s first Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers have graduated with a Certificate III in Conservation Land Management after nine months of training.

    Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt said this was a unique opportunity for local Indigenous people to participate economically while caring for their country.

    “Creating opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to participate economically while involving them in the care of their own country is a terrific win for everyone,” Mr Pitt said.

    “The Gunggandji Rangers will manage the natural and cultural values of Gunggandji country surrounding the Yarrabah community to undertake fire, weed and feral animal management.

    “At the same time they will contribute to the conservation of marine and threatened species in partnership with neighbouring indigenous land managers and management authorities.

    “Combined with their strong relationship with the land, the Gunggandji people will share their knowledge to educate the broader community to maintain the cultural identity of the area.

    “This is important work as Gunggandji country contains a great diversity of environments including rainforests, coastal plains, freshwater wetlands, beaches, mangroves, coral reefs, islands and the waters off the Coral Sea.”

    The graduation was a personal achievement for the four new Rangers: Paul Sexton, April Thomas, Harrison Smith and Justin Neal.

    A fifth Ranger, Jimmito Harris, has completed his school-based traineeship and is embarking on the Certificate III course. He will also mentor the next school-based trainee through the program.

    Reef Magic Tours and Gunggandji Aboriginal Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) were instrumental in delivering the Land and Sea Rangers program in partnership with the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments.

    The program is delivered in conjunction with Cairns TAFE and normally takes 24 months, but these graduates completed all their training in just nine.

     

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