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GPS PURCHASE AND TRAINING ASSISTS ABORIGINAL RANGERS

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THE Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Rangers are now using GPS technology to guide property management at Wurdi Youang. The GPS initiative empowers members of the

Aboriginal community working in NRM with a system of recording and tracking ongoing works, and responds directly to required set of skills identified by the Cooperative as critical for their land management work.

The Corangamite CMA Indigenous Participation Program supported the Wathaurong Rangers with two new GPS devices, software and training. This provided them with the necessary skills and equipment to use the devices in their land management work at Wurdi Youang.

The Wathaurong Rangers will use the GPS’s in their goal toward conservation of their local 369 hectare property Wurdi Youang, to protect and enhance sites of cultural significance to the Wathaurong/Wadawurrung people and the critically endangered plains grasslands. Corangamite CMA Indigenous NRM Facilitator Ange Jeffery said “The GPS initiative is about giving the Aboriginal Rangers control over their own information, its capture and storage, and it empowers them with the tools they need to visually share this information with partners and stakeholders.” The Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Rangers said of the initiative“It is a device which we can record the discoveries out in the field such as cultural sites, artefacts, animals and animal scats etc. ” “The devices help us keep track of our ongoing works and projects. It allows us to directly record the location of where we are harvesting, spraying and completing on ground tasks which provides pin point information to give back to our managers.” The initiative is part of the Corangamite CMA Indigenous Participation Program funded by the National Landcare Programme.