A new Australian Government Green Corps Project will restore wetlands that have cultural significance to Indigenous communities in the Albury Wodonga region.
The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, officially launched the project today and said it was the first all Indigenous Green Corps project in Southern Australia.
"This project will give 10 young Indigenous people the chance to undertake a range of environmental and cultural heritage works as part of the Albury Wodonga Indigenous Wetland Restoration project," Mr O’Connor said.
"Participants in the project will undertake important environmental works along the Murray and its tributaries including restoration of a wetland near Wonga Wetlands, creating an Indigenous resources garden to be used by students at Wodonga TAFE and enhancing visitor services through track maintenance and construction.
"Cultural works as part of the project include maintenance of a cultural ‘learnscape’ at the Natural Environment Centre at Thurgoona, cultural identification of artefacts and cultural surveys with an Indigenous archaeologist to identify Indigenous sites."
Green Corps is a federally funded program which provides young people aged 17-20 with the opportunity to participate in projects that conserve, preserve and restore Australia’s environment and cultural heritage.
Conservation Volunteers Australia is working in partnership with the North East Catchment Management Authority, Murray Catchment Management Authority and Parklands Albury Wodonga.
During the six-month project, participants will undertake a Certificate I in Cultural Site Interpretation.
"Green Corps enables participants to work under the supervision of a qualified team leader and gives them training in recognised skills that are designed to lead to full-time work opportunities in related fields," Mr O’Connor said.
Mr O’Connor said in line with its election commitment the Government had reviewed current employment services including the Green Corps program.
"Following extensive consultation, the Government has designed a new employment services that will provide more streamlined and tailored services for job seekers," he said.
"Under the new Employment Services which begins from 1 July 2009 Green Corps activities will continue as part of work experience for job seekers."
More information on Green Corps can be obtained by visiting the Green Corps website at www.greencorps.gov.au