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Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Flinders
Mrs Joanna Gash MP
Federal Member for Gilmore

1 December 2006

Celebrating Booderee Junior Rangers program

Children from Jervis Bay Public School and Pre-School will celebrate the success of the Junior Rangers program with a performance of their own creative dance.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, said the program helps young children to learn more about their environment and how traditional owners have cared for the country for thousands of years.

"The program is important because it provides a positive environment for learning and encouragement with schooling," Mr Hunt said.

"I was pleased to launch this program at Booderee in March this year and am particularly thrilled that the program is having a positive impact for the youngsters taking part."

The children will perform a dance, Ghudjahgaha Mirriall (Children's Spirit), which tells the story of Booderee country. It has been developed with the help of Koori choreographer Lenore Lovegrove and Wreck Bay singer/dancer Joe Brown.

Member for Gilmore, Joanna Gash, said she was delighted with the success of Junior Rangers program.

"The children have been given the opportunity to experience the park's unique natural environment from both a Koori and a scientific perspective," Mrs Gash said.

"Indigenous children have been able to share their culture and the park with their non-Indigenous classmates. Pride in country and culture goes a long way toward encouraging children to become the next generation of rangers, scientists, or park managers."

Booderee's Julie Freeman (Aunty Julie), a Wreck Bay Community member, is the Junior Rangers coordinator.

"We are all excited about the dance, which reflects the animals, plants and landscape of the park, and their importance in the Koori stories of this area," Aunty Julie said.

"It tops off a great year. Navy kids and Koori kids are experiencing the special things about this place, and Koori kids are seeing their mums, dads, uncles and aunts working together with park staff and researchers to care for Booderee."

Jervis Bay School Principal, Jane Carr, said 72 children from the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community, HMAS Creswell and the surrounding Jervis Bay area had taken part in Junior Rangers.

"Junior Rangers has provided very positive learning experiences for the children," Ms Carr said.

"They have learnt first-hand about the Botanic Gardens, pest and weed control, the visitor centre and campgrounds. Teachers have used these experiences to develop the children's literacy, numeracy and thinking skills against a range of curriculum areas."

Booderee National Park is jointly managed by the Australian Government's Director of National Parks and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community.

The children will perform the dance at the Jervis Bay Public School oval on Friday 1 December at 6.00pm.

Media contact:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596
Shawn Burns (Mrs Gash's office) on 0428 231 782
Martin Fortescue (Booderee National Park) on 0432 567 750
Jan Carr (Jervis Bay Primary School) on 02 4442 1002

Commonwealth of Australia