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Working on country program
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:
- support Indigenous people with the goals they have set for caring for country
- protect and manage the environmental and heritage value of Australia by providing paid employment opportunities for Indigenous people to pursue environmental work on country
- provide training and career guidance for Indigenous people in land and sea management using local knowledge where possible
- facilitate a partnership approach between Indigenous people and others to deliver environmental outcomes.
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 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
Assessment of the social outcomes of the Working on Country program.
Canberra: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Natural Resource Management (2008)
Caring for our country: outcomes 2008-2013.
Canberra: Natural Resource Management (NRM), Australia
May K (2010)
Indigenous cultural and natural resource management and the emerging role of the Working on Country program.
Canberra: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
Working on country (2007)
Department of the Environment Water Heritage and the Arts
Australian Department of Sustainability Environment Water Population and Communities (2011)
Working on Country funded projects.
Retrieved 2011 from http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/workingoncountry/projects/index.html