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Indigenous excellence recognised at Territory Natural Resource Management Awards

Rachael Knowles -

Celebrating collaboration, technology and culture, the winners of the 2020 Territory Natural Resource Management Awards were announced on Wednesday.

The award ceremony took place during a gala dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre; one part of a three-day program which began on Tuesday.

In nine different categories, the awards celebrated those who have remained committed to conservation in areas of environment, sustainable farming and natural resource management in the face a global pandemic.

Best Collaboration in Natural Resource Management Award and Research in Natural Resource Management Award

The Tjuwaliyn Wagiman Aboriginal Corporation and TRaCK â€" Water Conservation Collaboration

Bringing together Traditional Owners and researchers from the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Consortium (TRaCK), the project has supported the water planning and management of the Guwardagun River.

Active since 2004, the project is an example of ethical, co-designed research which pulls together science and Indigenous knowledge. The project is responsible for compiling one of the nation's longest-running freshwater datasets.

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Environment and Conservation Award

EnviroCollective Charles Darwin University (CDU), Conservation on Campus program

The Conservation on Campus program encourages people to connect with their local environment.

The program runs activities such as Gamba grass eradication, feral animal management, toad busts and native plant walks in the remnant savannah bushland at CDU's Casuarina Campus.

Through their advocacy, the group lobbied for student engagement in the CDU Biodiversity Plan and developed a student sustainability role in Student Council.

Farmers & Fishers Sustainability Award

Andrew Dalglish from Foxalicous Fruit, Katherine

Katherine-based Foxalicous Fruit has developed from a conventional mango, melon and citrus farm into a sustainable and certified organic farm.

The farm is committed to innovation, soil health, organic plant nutrition and sustainable organic pest and disease control. This move to organic, has improved yield and quality.

Indigenous Natural Resource Management Award

Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers

Since 2014 the rangers have overseen highly threatened migratory shorebirds, ensuring their conservation and raising public awareness.

Through regular water patrols, the rangers protect areas where the birds reside, ensure marine users are complying with regulations and develop understandings of biodiversity and cultural values of Country.

Their role is paramount to consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders and companies with interests in the harbour.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jack Green

For over three decades, Jack Green has been working to protect and care for Country along the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria.

Green has empowered Traditional Owners to regain land rights through the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (NT).

He has supported the formation of ranger groups, cross-cultural solutions, and taught young generations ecological knowledge. He is a key campaigner against the impact of mining pollution.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Jack Green. Photo supplied.

Ranger of the Year Award

Sonya Braybon from Tjuwanpa Women Rangers

Hailing from Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Braybon is the Western Arrarnta Coordinator for the Tjuwanpa Women Rangers (TWR). She has been part of the group since its inception in 2012.

The TWR oversees land management and community development across five Indigenous lands trusts in the MacDonnell Ranges.

In 2020, Braybon has been a crucial member of 11 community discussions on COVID-19 and supported the Ntaria community lockdown.

Resilient and Sustainable Enterprise Award

Growing and Using Local Produce (GULP) NT

GULP NT brings community and business together in the Darwin region to support small, local farmers who specialise in sustainable agricultural methods.

The organisation evolved in the face of COVID-19, using online resources to increase interest in local food markets. They also hosted educational workshops with Inspired NT, who are dedicated to technological innovation in the workforce, to distribute 300 growing kits.

The Next Generation Natural Resource Management Award

Manyallaluk School

Students of the local primary school based in Manyallaluk in the Katherine region are showing immense interest in their Country, ecosystems and biodiversity.

STEM subjects are educating students on the impact of buffalo and plastic waste along with skills such as doing surveys by recording footage with drones and cameras, which is then transferred into analysed data.

The data students collect is presented to community using platforms like YouTube. The school is making plans for a feral animal exclusion zone for the students to survey and study.

By Rachael Knowles

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