Working on Country

Review of Working on Country and Indigenous Protected Areas programs through telephone interviews

Prepared by Dr Dermot Smyth, 2011


About the report

Prepared by Dermot Smyth, Smyth and Bahrdt Consultants for the department, this report presents the results of 28 telephone interviews with Working on Country and Indigenous Protected Area participants. This has informed a review of these programs which occurred during a broader review of the Caring for our Country initiative in 2011.

The interviews suggested that Working on Country is highly effective in providing opportunities for Indigenous Australian's to manage their country and culture across a diversity of environments and tenures. The program funding has provided more certainty about future management and protection of country, and has encouraged Elders to share their traditional knowledge with rangers.

The interviews provide other insights into the program relating to first-time employment and career pathways, the benefits of training, the importance of environmental work being undertaken by rangers, and the challenges associated with project administration. A number of suggestions were also made by interviewees for improving what they regarded as a very successful program.

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