Marine estate benefits from Aboriginal knowledge and expertise

Five Aboriginal men collecting rubbish on a beach

Projects including Aboriginal people in care for Sea Country have resulted in significant environmental and cultural benefits. Left to right: Paul Brown (DPI) and James Cook (Far South Coast Landcare) with Peter Moore, Martin Mason and Jason Davidson (Wagonga LALC). Photo credit: Ian Kerr.


Jobs and training boost Aboriginal participation

A boost to training and job opportunities has resulted in a significant increase in Aboriginal people participating in the management of the marine estate up and down the NSW coast.

The NSW Government’s Marine Estate Management Strategy (2018-2028) provided funding for 150 vocational training opportunities and provided local employment for more than 20 Aboriginal people.

This has provided a unique opportunity for a valuable exchange of information. Training programs have provided Aboriginal people with skills, for example in boat handling, crewing on boats and wildlife monitoring while staff appointments ensure Aboriginal people are managing Sea Country and helping government agencies understand their cultural needs. These projects have resulted in significant environmental and cultural benefits.

Some of the achievements for projects led by Aboriginal people include:

  • 2,000 native trees planted and weed control spraying in the Tilba Tilba Lake catchment area
  • 9 tonnes of rubbish removed from Dowadee Island at Port Stephens restoring the natural beauty of the island and improving access for Worimi Elders and community to a significant cultural place
  • 200, Year 5 primary school students from the south coast participated in a Sea Country cultural education workshops
  • nesting sites of migrating shorebirds monitored and protected at Wallaga Lake north of Bermagui
  • nearly 100 Aboriginal graduates to receive their general boat licence
  • over 30 Aboriginal graduates to receive their deckhand certificate.

More Aboriginal projects and programs are being rolled out across the NSW coast under Initiative 4 of the Marine Estate Management Strategy.

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Page last updated/reviewed: 04 Mar 2020