Local Indigenous Australians hoping to pursue a career in bushfire management have a new pathway towards work after Federal Government funding has allowed for the formation of a new program with Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural and Education Centre.
The Bushfire Management program, funded through the $45.2 million Priority Employment Area initiative, is a practical training program teaching Indigenous jobseekers valuable skills in bushfire management and conservation whilst offering employment at the same time.
Federal Member for Lindsay, David Bradbury visited a team of Muru Mittigar workers taking part in the program at Mulgoa Nature Reserve, Glenmore Park, on Wednesday.
“From the Government’s perspective, this is a win-win from both an environmental and an employment outcomes perspective. It’s about securing improvements in the preservation of the natural environment but at the same time it is about giving employment opportunities to local Indigenous people,” he said.
15 local Indigenous people are currently enrolled in the program, learning skills that will prove to be beneficial as they move into steady employment.
At the completion of the program, those who took part will have the opportunity to work with local councils, the mining sector, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Rural Fire Services and other land owners to effectively manage Australia’s bushfire risks.
“Each participating employee is offered ongoing career development planning and support which creates a partnership approach with Muru and our employees and participants in order to reach their professional goals,” said Muru Mittigar General Manager, Peter Chia.
Engaging with the natural environment and learning how to manage it is an important part of Aboriginal culture, he added.