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Date:October 09, 2020

CLM collaborative workshop with Batchelor Institute and Northern Land Council

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Students  Undertaking sampling and testing water Rapid Creek

Tucked away at the back of the Batchelor Campus on Kungarakan / Warrai country is the impressive Conservation and Land Management (CLM) HQ. Wayne Barbour and David Gardiner are preparing for their next intake of students mid-September. It is a long, dry walk during the fire season, so water is often the first topic of conversation and today is no different. A recent workshop delivered to the Northern Land Council (NLC) Bulgul Land and Sea Rangers has become a highlight and both lecturers are keen to tell the story.

The workshop held at the Batchelor Campus was a collaboration between NLC and Batchelor Institute and involved a blend of accredited and non-accredited training around water quality testing at nearby Kumalie/Coomalie Creek and at Rapid Creek in Darwin.

Wayne Barbour has had much experience in water sampling and testing along with aquatic surveys during his 20+ years working in the Conservation and Land Management Industry. His view on teaching is that you engage the students by being hands-on. Incorporating practical activities such as undertaking water tests at Kumalie/Coomalie and Rapid Creek during a workshop provides an excellent learning environment while simulating real workplace scenarios. As Wayne grew up in the area, he also had stories to share to help provide context to the students.

Students also benefit from guest lecturers coming to Batchelor from all over the country such as Principal Research Scientist from James Cook University Dr. Shelley Templeman. Dr Templeman, sponsored by the NLC to work alongside Wayne during the workshop, introduced testing techniques such as ‘Recording Aquatic Environmental Monitoring Skills’. This workshop was greatly enjoyed by the students who impressed Dr Templeton with their deep and genuine interest and engagement with the subject. The students shared some of their cultural knowledge of their country with Dr Templeton showcasing the ‘Both Way’s’ learning philosophy at Batchelor Institute.

After the workshop, students get to take knowledge back to their communities using the same water testing methods. The important thing is understanding the health of the water and how that effects every other life form in the environment. Back home there is a lot of pride for the work these students are doing to achieve those skills for the benefit of the whole community.

Without water, there is no life, and this is the clear message that Wayne and Dave are getting across to their students. The Bulgul Rangers have recently completed their Certificate 2 in Conservation and Land Management (AHC21016) and have now commenced Certificate 3 in Conservation and Land Management (AHC31416).

Importantly, each time a new CLM cohort undertakes training at the Batchelor Campus, local Elder Academic Dr Sue Stanton acknowledges Kungarakan/Warrai Country for the students. This continues important cultural protocols and allows the students to feel safe and strong to be working through their courses. This is a highlight for all the students.

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Students  Undertaking sampling and testing water Rapid Creek September 2019

Senior Lecturer Mick Walters talks about the future pathways being developed for CLM:

‘At the moment we are offering from Certificate 1 to 4 in Conservation and Land Management.
Certificate 1 as an introduction, Certificate 2 is ‘work ready’ for a new ranger, Certificate 3 training develops Rangers towards being a team leader and Certificate 4 is a pathway to a Ranger Group Coordinator position. In the future we would like to be able to offer a Diploma with the potential to introduce a Higher Education pathway. Students can then work at any level they are ready for, at their own pace.’
“We learn from each other and from Country at CLM. This reflects ‘Both Ways’ learning principals of Batchelor Institute.”