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Shared paths for working on Country

Workshop participants from Madhima Gulgan North Coast Local Land Services is celebrating a range of exciting and innovative cultural connection projects that help build relationships with Local Aboriginal Land Councils, key environment management organisations and the North Coast Aboriginal community.

Members of two Aboriginal Working on Country teams recently ‘crossed paths’ to share information and knowledge about land management.  The field event was held in the Brunswick Valley and at Seven Mile Beach Lennox Head and was coordinated by Madhima Gulgan Community Association Inc and the Jali Green Team.  It was supported by North Coast Local Land Services and EnviTE and was made possible through funding from the National Landcare Programme and Catchment Action NSW.

Madhima Gulgan is a natural resource management enterprise working in the Brunswick and Tweed areas and is a well recognised leader in Aboriginal bushland restoration.

Trevor Jenkins, one of the co-founders of Madhima Gulgan,  said “We have built up the Association  from humble beginnings  and now provide employment,  training and a return to culture for a dedicated work team of young, and not so young,  local Aboriginal men and women.”

Brett Kelly Sr from the Jali Green Team was delighted to share his experience and knowledge gained through managing the outstanding natural beauty of Jali LALC lands at Seven Mile Beach.

Brett has been working on his country with other family members for the past six years in a partnership project with EnviTE and said, “We are working on a number of key sites to control weeds and pest animal species and undertake replanting works.

“Follow-up work is important and being on my Country on a regular basis over the years I have seen the bush and the wildlife recovering, it’s where I can connect with the land and being part of its recovery  is very rewarding.”

This event follows from a Working on Country information day held by North Coast Local Land Services at Lake Ainsworth in March.  It was an outcome of that day to support on-ground training and information exchange and business development opportunities amongst Aboriginal organisations and Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

North Coast Local Land Services provides funding for Aboriginal Extension Project Officers (AEPO) on the North Coast and Madhima Gulgan hosts Shane Ivey, the Northern AEPO.  Shane plays a pivotal role in helping the Aboriginal community to access natural resource management information and services to help communities manage and maintain the natural and cultural values across all lands.

Shane said, “The position is both a rewarding and challenging one and the Madhima Gulgan team provide me with tremendous  inspiration as a successful working business that other communities  and land managers are keen to work with.

“Recognising the importance of preserving cultural heritage, the team is using its understanding of traditional practice and past occupation to identify and register previously overlooked cultural sites.” Shane said.

Recognising the importance of engagement with Aboriginal communities, North Coast Local Land Services has recently formed an Aboriginal Community Advisory Group, of which Shane is a member.

Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer said, “Our aim is to develop partnerships that will improve networks, collaboration, connection to Country and improved career pathways in land management.

“The Aboriginal Community Advisory Group provides a vital communication, consultation and engagement forum to help us deliver services to Aboriginal communities on the North Coast,” Barry said.

Media contact:

John Nagle, Senior Land Services Officer 6623 3921

Photo captions:

Brett Kelly (Sr) - Jali team, Jordan Ivey & Trevor Jenkins - Madhima Gulgan team, Jai Sleeman – North Coast LLS and Richard Burer - EnviTE at Marshalls Creek - Oceans Shores key worksite.