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Joint Media Release
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
&
Senator Nigel Scullion
Senator for the Northern Territory

7 December 2006

Kakadu forges new path in remote ranger training


Four Aboriginal students are among seven Kakadu rangers who have become the first to win formal qualifications in a new workplace land management course.

Developed by Kakadu National Park and Charles Darwin University, the innovative workplace program begins by bringing CDU trainers to evaluate practical skills in the field.

"Many entry-level rangers, particularly Indigenous people, have left the school system without gaining formal qualifications," Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt said today.

"They may be excellent at weed or feral animal management, but they may lack numeracy or literacy skills, important for report writing or budgeting. They also lack the confidence to go back to the classroom, which may be as far away as Darwin, to overcome their skills gaps and to get formal accreditation. They can then be at a disadvantage when they want promotion or a different job, inside or outside the park."

Kakadu's new workplace development course assesses and accredits practical conservation skills in the field. The on-ground testing identifies the gaps that rangers need for each level of work, perhaps numeracy, formal mapping training or computer skills.

"Because the young rangers have gained confidence in exhibiting their practical skills in the environment they know, they are keen to do the formal classroom training recommended," Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion said.

"I congratulate all seven rangers for their successful completion of level 2, 3 and 4 Certificates in Conservation and Land Management.

"Quality workplace training is a valuable investment for the future of Kakadu, and it's great to see three of the rangers are set to further their professional development by continuing their study, perhaps even to diploma or degree level."

"It's been a fantastic success. These are achievements that will inspire young Bininj and Mungguy kids looking to become the next generation of Kakadu rangers."

Media contacts:
John Deller (Mr Hunt's office) on 0400 496 596
Peter Cain (Senator Scullion's office) on 0428 839 383

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