Indigenous job seekers from Goodabinya in the East Pilbara, participated in a four-day field trip last month to collect native grass seed last month.
The field trip took place along the De Grey River in the Pilbara as part of Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation’s (AAC) Marble Bar Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program.
Grass seed collected during the field trip will be used later this year in landcare trials undertaken by pastoralists from the De Grey Land Care District Committee (LCDC) group. The De Grey pastoralists are keen to have local indigenous people engaged in looking after the land.
Rangelands NRM Sustainable Rangelands Project Manager Tim Wiley said the field trip included hands-on training that built on a presentation earlier in the year by agricultural expert Peter Andrews about landscape management principles.
Native grass seeds were collected by hand and using AAC’s small brush seed harvester. The group also gained skills in setting up and operating a mechanical seed harvester, identifying plants and recording site information for scientific purposes.
Mr Wiley said the field trip was a successful collaboration between AAC and Rangelands NRM to develop employment and business opportunities related to looking after country.
“As a result of the experience, we hope that Indigenous participants have gained more knowledge and experience in the management of natural resources; native seeds and seedling supply; and land regeneration,” he said.
AAC implements the Pilbara CDEP program which helps Indigenous job seekers to gain the skills, training and capabilities needed to find sustainable employment, whilst improving the economic and social well-being of communities.
For more information, contact Tim Wiley
Image: Dexter Walker and Phillip Tinker identifying grass species (© T Wiley)