7 December 2005
Avon Catchment Council Indigenous NRM Facilitators Rod Garlett and Michelle Winmar, recently conducted a Noongar Cross Cultural Awareness Workshop. The workshop was held at the Seabrook Aboriginal Corporation in Brookton, and opened by local elders Janet Collard and Lester Bennell (in noongar), Arthur Slater (Avon Catchment Council) and Gary Clark (CEO – Brookton Shire).
The Avon Catchment Council (ACC) is the peak Natural Resource Management (NRM) group in the Avon Region. Following the accreditation of the Avon NRM Strategy and Investment Plan, the ACC is in the process of awarding contracts to agencies and organisations who will carry out specific NRM projects, under the themes of Integrated Water Management, Sustainable Industries and Natural Diversity. These contracts include a requirement to engage the Noongar community where possible.
The workshop, was designed for ACC Project Managers and the agencies and organisations working on Investment Plan projects in the Avon Region. The aim of the workshop program was to develop an understanding of Noongar people and their culture so that participants engage the Noongar community more appropriately when carrying out NRM activities and projects.
Workshop participant Mike Griffiths said “I came away feeling far more aware of traditional Noongar values, and how we, as NRM workers, could incorporate these values into bush and land management. “
“I felt very privileged to sit with and listen to Noongar elders who had so much shared knowledge of this land we live and work in, and so much to offer NRM in the Wheatbelt.”
A major feature of the course was the inclusion of local Noongar elders, who spoke to the group about their experiences of living in the Avon Region and their views on NRM. Participants found this session most useful as indicated in feedback through workshop evaluation forms.
Workshop organisers Rod Garlett and Michelle Winmar felt that the day was an overall success. ‘It’s the start of a partnership between various ‘NRM Agencies’ and the Noongar community.’
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