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The Working on country program is an initiative that aims to support the protection and conservation of Australia's natural environment by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The program builds on Indigenous traditional knowledge to protect and manage land and sea country.
The program aims to:
Approximately 680 Indigenous rangers are employed in around 90 ranger teams across Australia delivering positive environmental outcomes. It is expected that around 730 rangers will be trained and employed through Working on country by June 2015.
A sub-component of the program is the Specialised Indigenous ranger program, which has a focus on improving marine conservation, particularly for dugongs and turtles, along the far north Queensland coast. The program is also supporting Indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait to ensure the traditional harvesting of dugongs and turtles remains sustainable.
A recent assessment of the Working on country program found that it was highly valued by participants. Participants found that it had significant demonstrable benefits and felt it should continue in the future.
Working on country is supported by the Australian Government as an ongoing program with funding committed until June 2017.
Abstract adapted from the Department of the Environment
Environment Programmes Branch
Indigenous Affairs - Centre Plaza
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2600
Ph: 1800 982 280
This report summarises the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rangers from over 100 land and sea management groups who contribute to the Working on country (WOC) and Indigenous protected areas (IPA) programs.
The report showcases the achievements of the WOC and IPA programs for the year 2013-14, with a focus on the number of people employed, the types of activities they are doing and the flow on benefits to the environment and local communities. Four case studies are showcased:
The WOC and IPA programs are an initiative of the Australian Government, and are managed by the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract