DBCA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters it manages. The department also recognises the unique role and expertise Aboriginal people have as Traditional Owners, respects the longstanding aspirations of Aboriginal people to be involved in the management of Country and threats to biodiversity, and to carry out traditional activities on Country.
The department has a strong commitment to strengthening relationships, respect and trust with the Aboriginal community and the actions and targets set out in the Reconciliation Action Plan have been developed to achieve these goals.
North West Shelf Flatbacks is committed to encouraging aboriginal engagement in the program. Some high priority actions in the Strategic Conservation Plan are to:
- Promote engagement, employment and training of Indigenous people to assist in the delivery of the program.
- Ensure Indigenous engagement and activity are a focus of wider stakeholder engagement, ensure opportunities for education and participation.
During the monitoring season of 2017/18 we hosted Bush Ranger Cadets from Onslow School for a couple of nights to Thevenard Island. The students were thrilled to be able to be a part of the program, they were able to learn how to measure turtles, take skin samples, read tags and fill out data sheets. Comments from some of the students:
Going over to Thevenard was an amazing experience…watching the turtles lay their eggs and learning many things from the scientists
It was good to see the turtles and learn from the scientists
Watching the turtle dig her egg chamber was amazing
We have continued to work with the school community and look forward to an ongoing partnership and participation in monitoring on Thevenard Island.
Also during the 2017/18 monitoring season DBCA staff were joined by members of the Ngarluma Aboriginal Community for monitoring on Delambre Island. DBCA provided training and employment in all aspects of the turtle monitoring program on Delambre Island.
DBCA has worked on the Kimberley Marine Research Program with a key component of the research being the partnership and participation of 11 Indigenous groups. Read more about Nesting Sea Turtles in the Kimberley.