Congratulations to conservation graduates
Trust for Nature congratulates the nine recent Indigenous graduates of the Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management.
The Trust celebrated the students at a ceremony on Friday 26 November featuring the Djirri Djirri dancers.
MP Sheena Watt, who spoke at the event, congratulated the students.
“The learning and teaching that happens in this course is two-way, where the students learn practical skills and also share their knowledge and culture with the people they work with,” she wrote on Facebook.
The 2021 course is the third time the course has been run. It is organised by the Trust in partnership with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and Holmesglen.
Chelsea Cooke, one of the graduates, said the course complimented her work as a ranger.
“It’s a great opportunity because I’m learning so much and I’m also able to bring that to my work field,” she said. Chelsea has recently been employed by Trust for Nature in the Melbourne region.
“It’s been an amazing year of learning and working together and sharing knowledge,” said Trust for Nature regional manager Ben Cullen. “I can’t wait to see the role these grads play in the future of how our natural areas are managed.
“Traditional Owners have told us they want to work more on country and want support to do that. Trust for Nature is in a position to help join those dots. The course is guided by Aboriginal people and we work with them to deliver it.”
Students from this year’s course have included descendants of Bunurong/Boon Wurrung, Wurundjeri, Tati Tati Mutti Mutti, Ngarrindjeri, Wadawurrung, Arrernte, Gunaikurnai, Dja Dja Wurrung, Ngurai illam wurrung and Yorta Yorta Peoples.
In 2021 students gained experience through conservation projects on land protected by Trust for Nature through conservation covenants and in close collaboration with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.
Students worked on protecting midden sites on the Mornington Peninsula; participated in a cultural burn at Coranderrk Station with Uncle Dave Wandin – the first cultural burn on the property in over 160 years; and built a bush food planter box, now installed on a property donated to Trust for Nature by Helen McDonald and her late husband, comedian John Clarke, on Phillip Island.
The 2021 the course was supported by the Victorian Government, Zoos Victoria and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority. A fourth intake of the course will be run in 2022.
James Whitmore, Communications Coordinator, Trust for Nature, 0450 653 811, firstname.lastname@example.org