Finalists in Queensland Reconciliation Awards 2023
Darumbal Enterprises, Department of Defence, Dower Defence, Ecosure and TAFE Queensland attended the Awards evening in Brisbane as finalists in the Partnership category. Now in its 21st year, the Awards have recognised more than 100 initiatives and partnerships, fostering a fairer and more inclusive Queensland. Four inspiring Partnership programs were recognised for their dedication to reconciliation in Queensland in 2023.
The Darumbal Trainee Ranger and Mentoring program is a unique partnership between the Department of Defence, Downer Defence, Darumbal Enterprises Pty Ltd, Ecosure Pty Ltd and TAFE Queensland. Together, we identified a shared opportunity to initiate a pilot program to build capability and employ eight Darumbal Trainee Rangers to work on Country at Shoalwater Bay Training Area – one of The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) prime training areas.
The program was designed to provide training and opportunities for young Darumbal People as the Traditional Custodians of the land. It focused on Caring for Country through various activities, including land management, revegetation, ecosystem restoration, and cultural site restoration. It also encompassed plant and equipment operation and maintenance, as well as attaining drone pilot and recreational boat licenses. Additionally, it integrated traditional and cultural knowledge sharing and mentorship on Country by Darumbal Elders .
The Australian Department of Defence funded this innovative program to create a partnership that far exceeds all ‘business as usual’ for these partner organisations. Together we are proud to have supported the eight Darumbal Trainee Rangers through their Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management with TAFE QLD, with supervision and logistics coordinated by Downer Defence, weed management techniques and natural area restoration with Ecosure. An authentic example of reconciliation to be proud of.
All eight Darumbal Trainee Rangers achieved their Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEM), with a graduation ceremony on Country alongside Family, Elders, and partners. The young men have subsequently found employment opportunities with the partner organisations and other Darumbal partner businesses in the region.
This program is an important step towards reconciliation for the Darumbal People and the partner organisations. It’s success has inspired a second cohort of eight female Darumbal Trainee Rangers to participate in the program in 2023.
All partners have taken the opportunity to review, improve and build on lessons learned in the first year of the program. We are aiming to ensure the on-Country work reinforces the course content resulting in confident and competent Trainees. We will also continue to extend the reach of the program by collaborating and including other like-minded organisations who manage land on Darumbal Country so they can also further support building the skills of the Darumbal Trainees. This will allows the Trainees to practice their skills on a broad range of ecosystem types and create a network of professional relationships with organisations that share the goal of reconciliation and Healing Country.
The second tranche of the program launched in December 2022, comprising eight female trainee rangers, and is proving to be a great success.
For a full list of the 2023 Finalists and Winners