FUNDS BOOST: Gidarjil Development Corporation managing director Dr Kerry Blackman and Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd with the $955,290 cheque for the Aboriginal Land Sea Ranger Program.
FUNDS BOOST: Gidarjil Development Corporation managing director Dr Kerry Blackman and Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd with the $955,290 cheque for the Aboriginal Land Sea Ranger Program. Contributed

Indigenous work boost to tune of $1M

INDIGENOUS organisation Gidarjil Development Corporation has received a significant boost to its Sea Ranger program with $1 million in federal funding.

The Federal Government will provide new jobs and economic opportunities for indigenous rangers in Central Queensland with a $1.098 million grant to support rangers, unlock new commercial ventures and provide training and work experience for indigenous secondary students in the Bundaberg and Gladstone regions.

The government will provide $955,290 through the Capacity Building for Indigenous Rangers Strategy to expand the work of Gidarjil rangers and another $142,569 to employ more locals in the program.

Gidarjil will also be able to purchase a brand-new vessel to expand the services and operations that can be provided at sea.

The funding will support up to 59 training placements for existing indigenous rangers to get the training they need to expand their work. Funding will also provide training and work experience for up to 16 indigenous secondary students to learn what it is like to be a ranger.

Training opportunities include Certificates II and III in Conservation and Land Management as well as opportunities in fields such as pest management, tourism and hospitality.

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd said the funding boost would allow Gidarjil to better support locals and the economy through the creation of more jobs.

"Gidarjil's training and employment programs help indigenous people gain the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue their career pathways," Mr O'Dowd said.

"We want qualified individuals contributing to their community and we are helping make that happen.

"Our support for Gidarjl is a win for the local economy and a win for the people who call the area home."

The funding is locked in and not dependant on the election.

 

Sea Ranger boat Spirit of Port Curtis launched in February 2018. Another boat is on its way for the Sea Ranger Program.
Sea Ranger boat Spirit of Port Curtis launched in February 2018. Another boat is on its way for the Sea Ranger Program. Mike Richards GLA150218BOAT

Gidarjil managing director Kerry Blackman said "this is an exciting development of the highly successful Aboriginal Land and Sea Ranger Program which is delivering real environmental and employment outcomes in regional communities".

"The arrival of a new boat for the Sea Ranger program is evidence of how Gidarjil is again demonstrating its commitment to improving cultural heritage and maintaining the beautiful coastal waters of the Port Curtis Coral Coast traditional owners," Dr Blackman said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the new custom-built vessel will allow the organisation to undertake fee for service activities across a much broader area of sea country.

"We are excited to see the next generation of indigenous rangers benefit from this funding," he said.

Gidarjil Development Corporation is an indigenous owned enterprise, based in Bundaberg, made up of representatives of the Gurang and the Gooreng Gooreng peoples.



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