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New compliance training helping upskill rangers and council staff in the Torres Strait

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Three Torres Strait Islanders are standing at a desk looking at a note book. The woman in the middle is explaining something to the two men around her. There are other people in the background.
Philomena David (centre) says the training has given her greater understanding of biosecurity and compliance
24 Jul 2017

Rangers and council staff from the Torres Strait Regional Authority have completed basic training which will help them become the eyes and ears of Australia’s most northerly islands.

Jointly funded by Australian Government agencies, the training was delivered to 51 Torres Strait Regional Authority Rangers (TSRAs) as well as staff from Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and Torres Shire Council (TSC).

The training focussed on giving participants a better understanding of biosecurity and compliance and the roles the different agencies play in protecting and managing the country.

Participants learnt how to better support and educate the community on why regulating turtle and dugong catch is so important and how to take evidence and be a credible witness when reporting biosecurity threats.

For many, this training has made them want to get a higher level qualification.  More than 40 people have now gone on to do the Certificate IV in Government Investigations.

Philomena David, a Kulkalgau woman from the Central Island region of the Torres Strait, works for the TSIRC as the Environmental Health Coordinator and realised that the ‘Eyes and Ears’ training and the certificate would be beneficial for her role at the council.

“The Eyes and Ears training taught us how to read and interpret relevant Queensland Government regulations and legislation,” Philomena said.

“It also provided us with important skills in observation, interview techniques, data recording, reporting and investigation.”

Philomena manages nineteen Environmental Health workers across fourteen islands and knows that the training will have a positive effect on the Torres Strait.

“We’ve now got all the necessary tools to undertake compliance work and keep our community safe,” Philomena said.

Find out more

Indigenous Rangers are funded through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). The Eyes and Ears training was jointly funded by DPMC and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. A new Capacity Building for Indigenous Rangers Strategy was announced in May this year. Focusing on compliance, the strategy aims to build ranger’s technical skills and experience and provide job pathways.

Visit the Minister's website to view the original media release.

For more information on the programmes, visit Environment.

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