Regional green job projects sow seeds to success

Greening Australia is celebrating the successful completion of a project in regional Western Australia, working with Mt Barker Noongar Rangers in the Great-Southern area and Wadandi Rangers in Karridale area.


Jonno Woods and George Miniter, two of the Mt Barker Noongar Rangers, with collected and cleaned seed. Photo: JC Film Box.

Since February 2021, the project has seen the two teams complete on-the-job training in seed collection, revegetation, and other conservation and land management work over multiple properties.

The seeds collected by the teams are being used to revegetate land that has been previously cleared and is earmarked for habitat restoration. The revegetation plans have been rigorously designed to target biodiversity values; for example, some plantings include particular plant species that are important food sources for the endangered Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo.

To complement their onground experiences, teams also undertook studies with Great Southern TAFE to complete nationally-recognised units towards the Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management, including seed picking and plant identification, first aid training, chainsaw and tractor use.

Rangers out in the field collecting seed. Photo by JC Film Box.

Greening Australia is running the project with funding from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation through the Native Vegetation Rehabilitation Scheme and Offsets Funds for Recovery under the Green Jobs Plan included in the WA Recovery Plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.

A team of 10 Wadandi Rangers have been employed with the Undalup Association around Karridale in the South-West, while Impact Services and Gondwana Link Ltd have employed a team of 10 Mt Barker Noongar Rangers in the Frankland-Denmark area of the Great Southern.

Wadandi Rangers during a day out in the field. Photo: Harry Moore / Greening Australia.

The teams are now nearing the end of the seed collection phase and going into the revegetation phase, with planting and seeding expected to be completed by the end of July 2021. Greening Australia will continue to monitor the sites to assess any adaptive management that may be required in the future.

The projects’ achievements are being celebrated with two events on 8 July in Mt Barker and 29 July in Karridale.

The Mt Barker Noongar Ranger Team at the 8 July 2021 celebration event, with Barry Heydenrych (Greening Australia) and Blair Darvill (Human Nature).

Greening Australia program specialist, Barry Heydenrych said:

“These projects are a resounding success story, literally sowing the seeds for ongoing employment and healing-country enterprises in the restoration economy, supporting regional communities, and a making a positive impact on the local environment.”

Mt Barker Noongar Ranger Chris Winmar said the project gave the rangers opportunities to manage country and qualifications that would underline the pivotal role of local Aboriginal communities in the growing restoration sector.

“It’s great to connect with the land while learning new skills, while doing something that helps the environment. We really hope that these sorts of projects will continue to be funded into the future so we can continue to be involved.”

Wadandi Undalup Ranger Joe Burgess-Adam said being involved in the project had opened his eyes to a whole new range of opportunities and jobs.

“I’ve learned so much out here, I look at the bush differently. It’s great being on country, especially because I can’t sit in a classroom, and it makes me feel good to work. It’s like a different education path, and a better one for me.”

Dr Wayne ‘Wonitji’ Webb, Pibulmun Wadandi Yungunjarli Elder, said:

“It’s been a great opportunity for our local Aboriginal People to get out on country and earn their certs with Greening Australia and from Elders and Community.

“l am so proud of the Rangers commitment and really hope we can secure funding to keep these strong Aboriginal People employed and looking after Boodjarra for our Community. We are looking for agencies to support us at a grassroots level, led and directed by Our People’s proper self-determination.”

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

Like this story and keen to hear more?

Subscribe for monthly updates from Greening Australia