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Brewarrina workshop helps provide clear direction

A two-day workshop at Merriman Station, near Brewarrina, this month introduced Aboriginal land managers to a wide range of support services and gave them direction in the way they operate their businesses.

More than 30 people attended the Stepping Up To Manage Country workshop and felt so strongly about its benefits that they asked Local Land Services to continue the program on a regular basis.

Senior Land Services Officer (Aboriginal Communities), Blackie Gordon said the workshop attracted land managers, elders from the Dharriwaa Elders Group Inc of Walgett, community members and representatives of the Brewarrina LALC.

People travelled from Brewarrina, Goodooga, Weilmoringle, Bourke and Walgett to attend.

"The workshop was a great opportunity to form new partnerships between organisations who will be supporting and funding Aboriginal land managers to improve their land," Mr Gordon said.

"Ricky Archer came from Darwin to facilitate the workshop and highlighted the range of organisations that can assist Aboriginal land managers with funding and practical advice.

"This was a good way to introduce Aboriginal land managers to a range of organisations who can help them improve land management outcomes.

"Several project ideas came out of the workshop, with land managers looking to apply for funding for on ground works and community groups developing plans for training and events."

One of the attendees was Julie Knight from Bourke, who found the workshop so beneficial she travelled to Menindee to attend the workshop again later in the week.

"I supposed I was disarmed before I came and now I'm armed," she said. 

"Just having that connection to all these different organisations and knowing the support that's out there is really valuable."

Guest speakers at the workshop included staff from Local Land Services Western Region who covered pest management, natural resource management, agricultural production, Landcare and cultural heritage.

Steve Smith and Callum Howell attended from the Indigenous Land Corporation, while Regional Aboriginal Councillor from NSWALC, Ann Dennis and Robert Salt, the CEO of Brewarrina LALC, also took part in the sessions.

Other speakers included Sarah Goulden, Rural Resilience Officer with the Department of Primary Industries; John Beer, Rural Financial Counsellor; Dave Hagarty from the Rural Fire Service and Tanya Slack-Smith and Anthony Azevedo from Crown Lands NSW.

Media contact:         
Donna Ambler 0400 258 690 
Blackie Gordon  0428 607 536