New Groundwater Course Empowers Aboriginal Rangers in Western Australia

Western Australia launches a Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement course to train Aboriginal rangers in groundwater management. The course, developed by North Regional TAFE and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, aims to empower Indigenous communities in environmental stewardship and land management.

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Geeta Pillai
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New Groundwater Course Empowers Aboriginal Rangers in Western Australia

New Groundwater Course Empowers Aboriginal Rangers in Western Australia

A new Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement course has been launched in Western Australia to train Aboriginal rangers ingroundwater management, enabling remote communities to take an active role in environmental stewardship and land management. The course, developed through a collaboration between North Regional TAFE and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), is specifically designed for rangers from Traditional Owner groups and offers formal qualifications crafted to meet industry needs.

Why this matters: This initiative has the potential to empower Indigenous communities to take a leading role in environmental conservation and land management, which is critical in the face of climate change. By recognizing and valuing Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsibilities, this course can also help to promote reconciliation and address historical injustices.

The Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement equips participants with fundamental skills in groundwater sampling, measurement techniques, laboratory analysis, and equipment operation. Upon completion of the course, graduates will possess the competency to undertake key tasks such as measuring and sampling groundwater, packaging water samples, utilizing monitoring equipment, and conducting visual inspections of water resources and equipment.

Formal agreements have been established between DWER, the Nyamba Buru Yawuru Corporate, and the Karajarri Traditional Lands Association to provide on-the-job training and skills development opportunities for Aboriginal rangers. These partnerships reflect a shared vision to empower Indigenous communities in actively participating in environmental stewardship and land management. The initial intake, exclusively designed for the Yawuru Aboriginal Corporation, is scheduled to commence in May 2024.

Water Minister Simone McGurk emphasized the transformative potential of the course, stating, "Training changes lives - and this course for Aboriginal rangers in sustainable groundwater management has the potential to change whole communities." Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti added, "The State Government remains committed to empowering Indigenous communities to actively participate in environmental stewardship and land management - and this course will do this one trainee at a time."

Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna highlighted the significance of the course, saying, "This course represents a fantastic opportunity for Aboriginal rangers and Country Managers from Traditional Owner groups to gain skills in groundwater management through specialised, on-the-job-training." DWER is supporting North Regional TAFE by providing input into course development, industry specialists for training support, and facilitating relationships with key Traditional Owner groups.

The Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement is a cornerstone of DWER's commitment to empowering Aboriginal communities and enhancing their capacity in groundwater management. The course formally recognizes Indigenous communities' active engagement in groundwater management on their land and their role in protecting precious water resources. It represents an important recognition of the cultural responsibilities associated with caring for the country, which is more critical than ever in the face of a changing climate.

The launch of this groundbreaking course in Western Australia marks a significant milestone in empowering Aboriginal rangers and remote communities to take an active role in environmental stewardship and land management. By equipping participants with vital skills and formal qualifications, the Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement paves the way for Indigenous communities to become leaders in sustainable groundwater management and environmental conservation.

Key Takeaways

  • New Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement course launched in WA for Aboriginal rangers.
  • Course trains rangers in groundwater management, empowering remote communities in environmental stewardship.
  • Partnerships established with Traditional Owner groups for on-the-job training and skills development.
  • Course recognizes Indigenous knowledge and cultural responsibilities in land management.
  • First intake scheduled for May 2024, exclusively for Yawuru Aboriginal Corporation.