25 August 2016 Industry partnership educates Indigenous youth in natural resource management

A program to train Indigenous youth in natural resource management, while simultaneously securing plants for a local residential development in Darwin, will continue after recording a high success rate.

The Breezes Muirhead Aboriginal Landcare Education Program (ALEP) was a collaboration between Defence Housing Australia (DHA), Investa Land and Greening Australia NT (GANT). It has enabled Indigenous young people to achieve a Certificate 1 in Conservation and Land Management.

From the program’s start in mid-2013, 49 students have participated, with 33 gaining their certificate.

Sixty three per cent (31 graduates) are now employed or undertaking further education in land management and landscaping. Several students are working in the construction industry.

‘We are incredibly proud of the Breezes Muirhead ALEP, which has proven so successful in engaging Indigenous young people and providing them with skills to secure their future,’ DHA Acting Manager Director, Jan Mason, said.

‘For this reason we have decided to continue this program until the completion of Breezes Muirhead.

‘To have 63 per cent of participants engaged in employment or further education is an outstanding result.

‘The legacy of this collaboration is of great significance. Graduates will take their knowledge of natural resource management into land management careers. This will benefit the Northern Territory’s natural environment and provide participants with long-term employment.’

Breezes Muirhead’s ALEP is delivered by GANT. DHA has committed to support GANT’s nursery to operate all year round to secure an ongoing supply of plants for the development. This financial commitment provided GANT with the security to implement a governance structure to run the training program.

The ALEP ran in 22-week rotations, with each program providing up to 10 students with practical experience in nursery operation, landscaping, conservation and land management.

Throughout the program students collected seeds from more than 20 native species and engaged in weed management and landscaping work across 34 hectares of parkland, eucalyptus forest and native bushland. Students also assisted with the transplantation of more than 700 cycads across the site.

Breezes Muirhead is a residential community being developed by DHA and Investa Land on a 169 hectare site, 14 kilometres north of Darwin’s CBD.

Figures current as at April 2016

For media inquiries contact:
Brendan Gullifer | Media Manager
Communication and Media | Defence Housing Australia
T. 02 6270 6025
M. 0421 040 098

Further information:
Kate Bromley | Public Relations
Indigo Ink  
T.   02 9489 9783
M. 0408 407 847