Ngurrala Green Team going from strength to strength
27 September 2016
The Ngurrala Aboriginal Corporation Green Team was the first of its kind formed on the North Coast and has now been working for more than 10 years. The early success of this team created the model on which other green teams have been formed and the Ngurrala Green Team has moved from strength to strength over this time
One of the strengths of the Ngurrala Green Team model is the excellent relationships that they have built with project partners such as North Coast Local Land Services, Nambucca and Bellingen Shire Councils, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, schools and private landholders.
North Coast Local Land Services is proud to continue support for the team, including training and bushland regeneration activities at six sites within Valla, Jagun, Bollanolla and Ngaamba Nature Reserves as well as Yarriabini National Park. North Coast Local Land Services provides technical support for skills development and funding sourced from the National Landcare Programme and NSW Catchment Action.
The Green Team project is providing increased opportunities for Aboriginal connection to Country and restoration of nature reserves is a high priority. Lindy Brown, Team Leader, said of the project, “During 2015-2016 there were approximately 30 hectares of high conservation value nature reserve areas protected.”
In addition to delivering outcomes that are growing healthy environments, the project is also delivering skills that can lead to ongoing employment. Long time Ngurrala Green Team Leader, Craig Smith, used his experience of working in partnership with NSW government agency staff to take up a position with National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Barry Williams, Senior Land Services Officer (Aboriginal Communities) highlighted the importance of this aspect, “Projects such as this one are delivering multiple outcomes including employment opportunities for the Green Team members, who are then also positive role models for others.”
Craig, who was instrumental in early success of the Team, handed over the Team Leader role to Robert Wilson and Nathan Smith in 2014. Rob and Nathan continue to impress with their natural aptitude, continuing professional development, leadership skills, on-ground achievements and enthusiasm for working on country. In the last 12 months, this team have identified Federal and/or NSW listed threatened species of flora at two project areas - a real contribution to biodiversity knowledge.
Lindy also acknowledges the support received by National Parks and Wildlife Service in offering operational support, “The knowledge that the Green Team receives from NPWS officers such as Tim Scanlon, Pest Management Officer and Ranger, Greg Wallace, is crucial in building the Team’s skills and knowledge.
“They have been instrumental with project development, site procurement, monitoring and guidance.” Lindy said.
The partnership with the Ngurrala Green Team is just one of the projects that North Coast Local Land Services is delivering across the North Coast and the organisation is building relationships with a range of key stakeholder groups that are focused on achieving similar goals.
Barry Williams concluded, “We are developing a range of exciting and innovative cultural connection projects that are helping build relationships between local Aboriginal Land Councils and key environmental organisations.
“This collaborative approach leads to greater outcomes for the North Coast region particularly in building community capacity for integrated management for Aboriginal communities.”
For more information please contact North Coast Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 and for details on the Ngurrala Green Team project call Hugo Marree on 6563 6707.
Lindy Brown, Team Leader, 0437 826 152
Ngurrala Green Team members. Left to right; Kenneth Walker, Nathan Smith and Robert Wilson