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Wheatbelt NRM’s Community Engagement program helps the community understand natural resource management issues affecting our region and how to help manage them.
This program works to make NRM an integral part of the Avon Wheatbelt community’s social and economic lifestyle. We work with the Aboriginal community to develop NRM projects that build a strong regional community. This includes involving them in our project planning, as well as supporting activities on Aboriginal-owned lands and at culturally significant sites. We are also committed to developing environmentally sustainable lifestyles within the region, and to supporting and involving our young people in NRM.
We achieve this by:
- developing a strategic vision and plan for natural resource management for the Avon Wheatbelt region using a resilience assessment
- building the skills, knowledge and capacity of the Aboriginal community to get involved in NRM and sustainably manage their lands
- providing NRM employment and training opportunities for the Aboriginal community
- involving the region’s young people in specific education and NRM activities and events
- encouraging sustainable living through events, articles and funding
- running the annual NRM community survey
- distributing regular NRM news and information to the regional community via our website, social media, quarterly newsletter and fortnightly e-news bulletin
- publishing NRM information, case studies, reports and the annual NRM calendar
The Avon River Basin is predominantly the spiritual home of the Ballardong Noongar people. Our Aboriginal NRM program builds knowledge, skills and capacity in the regional Noongar community so they can be actively involved in natural resource management. We work with the Aboriginal community to identify culturally and ecologically significant sites in the region that can benefit from management. We then develop management plans and carry out onground activities at these sites where possible. Appropriate community members are involved in project steering groups to oversee individual projects. We also help the Aboriginal community record previously-unregistered sites of cultural significance with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. In this way, the local people are involved in the care and protection of the land and their own cultural history.
The Wheatbelt NRM Noongar Elders Advisory Group provides specific cultural guidance and traditional knowledge to our natural resource management programs in the region. They particularly help identify places of cultural importance to the Noongar community that need management, restoration, protection or interpretation. The Group provides advice on culturally sensitive issues at our project sites, and identifies appropriate people to work with and oversee activities. They also help record Traditional Ecological Knowledge for the region and approve Aboriginal NRM publications (e.g. the annual Wheatbelt NRM calendar, educational resources).
We also work closely with the following groups to create the right future in NRM for the Aboriginal community and to identify people that have cultural authority and ‘speak for Country’:
- Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal groups
- the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council
- the Department of Aboriginal Affairs
- the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Our Aboriginal NRM program is important for building partnerships between land managers and the Aboriginal community. We work with non-Aboriginal landholders to develop site management plans for cultural sites on their lands.
The Mooditj Boodja website promotes community stories about Country and records Traditional Ecological Knowledge and oral history. It is an important tool for preserving and handing on the culture and knowledge of the local Aboriginal people. The website records Aboriginal land management projects completed by Wheatbelt NRM, so that the community can learn how to run similar projects on their own land or in their communities. It is also a useful school educational resource.
The Mooditj Boodja website shares short films recorded with members of the Noongar community about:
- caring for and living on Country
- land management
- bush tucker and medicine
- plant and animal knowledge
- cultural stories.
The website is publicly accessible and members of the community can submit their own stories. If you have a story to share, please contact the Operations Manager, Rebecca Palumbo, on 08 9670 3120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also provide NRM employment and training opportunities for the Aboriginal community. See the Aboriginal NRM Employment Opportunities page for more information.
We are always looking for community input into our programs. Contact the Operations Manager, Rebecca Palumbo, on 08 9670 3120 to discuss your ideas for activities on your lands or with school, youth or Aboriginal groups. You can also submit your project idea to us.