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Thriving on Country

Aboriginal Landcare Education Program

Since 1994, our Aboriginal Landcare Education Program (ALEP) has played an integral role in empowering local communities across Northern Australia by increasing employment opportunities and healthy lifestyle options for young Aboriginal people.

110

Aboriginal Rangers trained in Pilbara

70%

of graduates employed or studying

Close to 500

people engaged

ALEP has combined classroom-based learning and practical projects to help students develop skills and gain work experience in conservation, nursery and landscaping-related industries.

ALEP has engaged almost 500 Aboriginal people and remote communities throughout the Pilbara and Darwin, enhancing environmental skills and improving employment opportunities.

In the Northern Territory, young people who were previously disengaged from the community, often with low numeracy and literacy skills, flourished in ALEP’s team environment. In the Pilbara, ALEP enabled local Aboriginal people to engage directly in on-ground conservation activities, enhance their skills and raise their environmental awareness. Over 110 Aboriginal participants from seven different Indigenous groups have undertaken training relevant to ranger activities on country.

The broad range of projects successfully carried out with remote Aboriginal communities include:

  • Worked with families in remote NT and WA communities to create healthier living environments in their yards for improved environmental amenity and health.
  • Improved amenity in community areas such as public parks and gardens, including assisting locals with the Daguragu Hand Over Park in the NT for the 40 Years of Freedom Day Festival.
  • Landscaped and enhanced safe places with the NT Emergency Response Supporting Families program, working with 13 Northern Territory communities.
  • Engaged young Aboriginal people in the NT in community-based projects with the help of Grinwan Geing (working mainly with young adults) and Lilwan Geing (working with children), as part of ALEP Green Cadets.
  • Supported seed collection activities for the Women’s Ranger Group at Parngurr, and provided commercial opportunities for sale to Nindethana Seed Company.
  • Complemented the traditional skills of the Ngurrawaana rangers and enabled them to conserve biodiversity through training focused on monitoring and managing rivers on the Leramugadu Lease within the Fortescue Catchment.
  • Collaborated with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Nyangumarta Rangers to undertake fauna surveys at a Ramsar-listed Wetland at Eighty Mile Beach, providing hands-on experience to complement their Conservation and Land Management studies.

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ALEP Learning Guides

Our series of 30 ALEP Learning Guides have been developed collaboratively with Indigenous communities to ensure they are suitable for use within a program based on Indigenous pedagogies.

The ALEP guides were first developed for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the Top End, but with the addition of local resources such as local plant identification books, they can be applicable to all areas of Australia.

The guides have been used by organisations, schools and communities across Australia and in rural and remote communities internationally. The units of competency covered in the guides are frequently used within Certificates I to III in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management courses.

Hard copies are no longer available for sale, but you can download printable digital copies of all 30 guides here.

Series 1

Series 2

Please note: The ALEP Learning Guides are no longer being revised but are made freely available to all who may wish to learn from the guides or refer to them for education purposes. We strongly encourage educators to complement the guides with additional resources from relevant industry texts and websites, and link learning to practical activities to strengthen meaning and purpose.

Case Study

Jasmine was a receptionist at the local doctor’s surgery in Daly River. She moved to Darwin to help her sister. Having always wanted to work on country, Jasmine saw the ads for the ALEP program and enrolled. She built her confidence through the training and is now working on her father’s country as the first female ranger at Fish River, a pastoral station that has since been purchased for conservation and now forms part of the National Strategic Reserve.

Many thanks to all the rangers, students, trainers and industry experts who provided feedback and photos during the development of the learning guides.

For more information about this project, please send us an online query.