Green Army success on Quandamooka Country

Green Army success on Quandamooka Country

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Restoration of Quandamooka native title land is underway on North Stradbroke Island thanks to the Australian Government’s Green Army programme and the community were invited to a field day in March to take a look at some of the work undertaken.

Coordinated by SEQ Catchments, Conservation Volunteers Australia, and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, the 6 month programme is providing Indigenous 17 to 24 year olds with hands on environmental management training to restore natural and cultural significant landscapes on the Island around Amity Point and Dunwich.

While undertaking accredited training in conservation and land management, the trainees are helping to control the spread of a variety of weeds such as Lantana, Umbrella trees and Asparagus fern, restoring habitat for a range of threatened species including the Water mouse, Wallum Sedge Frog and the Swamp orchid.

SEQ Catchments CEO Simon Warner says that the programme offers the trainees a great opportunity to get some hands on experience, learn a range of new skills whilst also contributing towards some great outcomes for the island.

“The program focuses on increasing young indigenous people’s skills and understanding of how to manage Quandamooka country.”

 “Quandamooka people have managed these landscapes for thousands of years, it’s particularly encouraging to see a new generation continue this tradition, and do it in a way where they are learning from elders within the community.”

“We are really appreciative to the Australian Government for providing a Green Army team to this project which will have not only great environmental outcomes for North Stradbroke Island but also provide the participants with valuable skills, training and experience to better prepare them to enter the workforce. 

One of the areas the teams are currently working on is the Ballow Road Conservation Reserve to the North of Amity Point, home to a significant Koala population.

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation coordinator Darren Burns said that this project builds on the longstanding Quandamooka community capacity building programme.

“It addresses our core strategic values outcomes which focus on youth development and engagement of our people in the healing and future management of our traditional lands into the future,” he said.

“The majority of the team are first year school leavers and to have a project of this scope for them jump straight into is very valuable.”

Green army participant Jacob Martin-Doyle said that the programme has allowed him to learn many new skills and has given him a lot more focus.

"Before I started the Green Army program I didn't know much about weed ID and native plants, but I've been able to pick up a whole lot of new skills, such as working safely in a team, conservation, weed ID and native plant ID," said Jacob.

"I enjoy it and would love to continue working in the bush and working on Country." 

Another participant, Kyle, a recent school leaver, said that the programme has been great to learn about how to work better in a team.

"When we started treating Asparagus Fern we were all spread out and pulling it out separately but as we started to work as a team, we were much more effective in pulling out the weeds," said Kyle.

Federal MP Andrew Laming had encouraged locals to head along to the field day to see first-hand the benefits and improvements made to the environment through Green Army work.

“The participants in the North Stradbroke Island Green Army programme have been working hard on weed control and restoration that will benefit the community and local environment,” Mr Laming said.

“The Green Army programme provides participants with invaluable training and experience to help them prepare for the workforce and improve their career opportunities.

“This is practical, hands on action to support the local environment and upskill these participants.”

Mr Laming said up to 15,000 young Australians would receive training and work experience through the Federal Government’s Green Army initiative by 2018. 

The Green Army is an Australian Government initiative that taps into local knowledge and supports grassroots action to meet local environmental challenges. 

Supported by the Australian Government’s Green Army Programme, SEQ Catchments, Conservation Volunteers Australia, and the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation.

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