Inaugural Awards for Excellence - Recognising outstanding contributions to Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park

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These awards recognise outstanding contributions by young Anangu, who are showing the same commitment as their grandmothers and grandfathers. They have taken the first steps in a career path of caring for country.

Eight young 15 - 24 year olds from the Mutitjulu Community receive awards for excellence. Over the past eight months they have been part of a group of 24 young people, working on Green Corps, an Australian Government program funded under Job Futures and Greening Australia. In that time they have removed up to 10 hectares of the invasive weed buffel grass in the park and the Community. They've worked on rock hole maintenance, built two shade shelters - wiltjas - at the football oval in the Mutitjulu Community, painted a Community arts project and the Mala gate, and finally established a Community orchard and a garden in the primary school.

At the same time as they worked with park staff, conservation volunteers and a private environment company, they managed to study and acquire both chemical and land management certificates. One has just been employed to become the park's maintenance officer.