Annual Report 2010-2011

Published: December, 2011

Output 3.2 Employment, Education and Training

The CLC assists in the economic advancement of Aboriginal people through employment, education and training, particularly in relation to land use proposals, within the Land Council region.


During the reporting period, the Central Land Council maintained its commitment and capacity to achieving sustainable employment and training outcomes for its constituents.
Successes achieved in this role can be attributed to a number of significant advantages arising from the CLC’s statutory functions, including employment opportunities that arise from mining and other commercial land use agreements negotiated under both the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and the Native Title Act.
The CLC also benefits greatly from its familiarity and established relationships with Aboriginal people in remote areas.
Increasingly, community development projects funded with Aboriginal people’s own resources are contributing to employment, education and training outcomes in a range of fields from child care to youth work. Please see section 4.4 for a full description of the outcomes of this work.
The CLC continued to proactively pursue employment, education and training opportunities for Aboriginal people in the following areas:

Mining, Construction and Transport   

Employment and training placements with the mining industry to date have occurred predominantly under mining and exploration agreements entered into with Newmont Asia Pacific Ltd (“Newmont”) in the Tanami region.
The CLC placed 27 people into employment in the mining industry, including nine residents of remote Central Australian communities. Placements were made with the following mining companies and allied contractors: Newmont (16), ESS Granites (7) and CDE Group (4).
The CLC continued to participate in a wide range of forums and meetings to increase Aboriginal employment in the mining, construction and transport industries.

National Park Joint Management Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park (UKTNP)

The CLC continued to participate in employment and training forums and initiatives relevant to this park.

NT Parks and Wildlife Service (PWSNT)

The CLC continued to represent the employment and training aspirations of traditional owners of jointly-managed national parks and reserves.
The successful employment of Aboriginal people in jointly-managed parks has been achieved in collaboration with the PWSNT by placing traditional owners and community ranger groups into short-term employment opportunities under the Flexible Employment Program (FEP) across a number of parks in the CLC region.
Significant support was provided by CLC staff through preparation of FEP work programs, up-take of FEP opportunities and on-ground project support.
FEP project participants receive an award wage and accredited training.
In the longer term the FEP seeks to develop traditional owner capacity to take up contract-based park management work or full-time employment with the PWSNT as a park ranger.
In 2010-2011 there were 177 FEP projects with a total of 90 Indigenous community participants.
Approximately 50 of these projects were undertaken by
 our existing or emerging CLC-sponsored Aboriginal ranger groups providing valuable capacity-building opportunities.
The FEP work made a significant contribution to park management outputs and included weed and feral animal control, visitor infrastructure installation and maintenance, water monitoring, biodiversity monitoring surveys, prescribed burning, walking and access track maintenance, fencing maintenance and delivery of structured visitor programs.
To further develop the capacity of Aboriginal ranger groups to undertake future contract work in Territory parks , the CLC collaborated with PWSNT to second two PWSNT staff to support established ranger groups in Central Australia.
One position has been placed with the Hermannsburg-based Tjuwanpa Rangers to develop its capacity for future management of the Finke Gorge National Park and another was placed within the organisation to service the specialist development needs of several groups as required.

Community Ranger Programs

The CLC-hosted Ranger Program continued to be a very successful model for Indigenous employment and skills development in Aboriginal communities across the CLC region with 120 people having employment within the program over the course of
the year.
This took the form of permanent positions in established ranger groups, short-term casual trainee ranger roles within emerging groups or as temporary additional support of the work programs of established groups during busier parts of the year.
These ranger groups exist largely in the most remote areas of the region where there are few, if any, other employment opportunities.
They provide extremely successful frameworks for developing confidence and self-esteem in young Aboriginal people in these communities, as well as valuable life skills, qualifications and experience for future employment.
CLC support for such programs commenced in 2001 utilising multiple and inadequate funding arrangements. With the demise of CDEP and a lack of mature community-based organisations to host the ranger groups, the CLC undertook to employ the rangers directly.
This strategy also ensured the groups were closely aligned with the aspirations and direction of traditional owners for management their country.
The current framework of relatively comprehensive and secure funding, provided by critical wage and operational funding contracts through SEWPAC and the ILC, provides a solid foundation up to June 2013 for the existing ranger groups to consolidate and mature.
The program’s development in this period shifted from recruitment and basic work-readiness to improving ranger performance, on-ground work outputs, and broad-based skills development.

Employment Outcomes and Ranger Retention Rates

At the end of 2010-2011 the CLC was employing 82 Indigenous rangers within seven established Indigenous ranger groups supported under the Working
on Country and Real Jobs
funding arrangements.
The lower number of rangers for 2010-2011 reflects the absence of the 14 casual CDEP rangers employed through the Hermannsburg-based Tjuwanpa Outstation Resource Centre previously sub-contracted by the CLC for one day a week for a three-month period in 2010. It is also important to note that the snapshot data for June 2011 does not include either the Papunya or Daguragu ‘pilot’ ranger groups that were not operational that month whilst funding arrangements for their transition to permanent ranger group
status were still under negotiation. Thus while the figure for full-time equivalent (FTE) positions appears smaller there has in fact been an increase.
Within the program the proportion of women employed in ranger jobs remained fairly constant at around 20 per cent. However more than half the number of women rangers were only employed on a casual basis. It is hoped recruitment of a women’s land management facilitator to the CLC in 2010-2011 will increase the engagement
of women.
Overall retention of rangers within the program remained relatively high this year, with half the established groups having retention rates of around 70 per cent or higher, and only two groups having relatively high staff turnover (Kaltukatjara and Anmatyerr rangers) of around 50 per cent
The turnover of ranger staff during this period is reflective of the transition to a more demanding work program and increased scrutiny of individual ranger attendance and performance through refinements to weekly reporting processes. The more rigorous monitoring and reporting being applied is in line with efforts to embed the Ranger Program within the “real jobs” ethos and avoid the pitfalls of some CDEP or job creation programs where performance is not aligned to national employability standards.
Higher performance targets were accompanied also by the formalisation of human resource policies in order to get a more standardised approach across the program. This period also saw greater levels of involvement of senior rangers in the management of underperforming rangers in an effort to engender greater community ownership of
ranger group performance and work outcomes.
Two rangers left and went on to mainstream employment and a trainee ranger gained
employment as a youth ambassador in Vanuatu.
The involvement of the CLC’s Employment Unit staff continues to contribute to the success of the Ranger Program. Their experience in successfully preparing Aboriginal people from remote communities for employment in mining and construction jobs in the region has been readily transferrable to the ranger program.
Recruitment also occurred for additional support positions for the program and for turnover in ranger group coordinator positions in some groups during this period.

Quality Targeted Training and Professional Development

High quality professional development was provided in 2010-2011.
Training delivery moved from its initial emphasis on basic work-ready skills development in 2009-2010 to an emphasis on development of specialist skills and tailored professional development.

Across the CLC Ranger Program, 26,000 hours of training were delivered. This represents a drop of around 50 per cent in total hours from 2009-10 but reflects a shift in training type to lesstime-intensive training.

  • 80 per cent of all training in 2010-11 was in accredited units of competency from nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Over 3100 hours of Workplace English Literacy and Learning (WELL) training was delivered within all established ranger groups.
  • There was an increase in the hours of training in higher qualification courses such as Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management, Certificate III in Multimedia, and Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Graphical summaries of the ranger training effort in training hours are provided below for individual ranger group and the program as a whole for the seven established ranger groups and three emerging ‘pilot’ groups

During this period a number of rangers progressed sufficiently to enable them to engage in courses requiring a significantly higher level of baseline literacy and numeracy.
Two rangers commenced Certificate IV in Conservation and Land Management. This qualification has a very high written content component, and
an emphasis on data collation
and analysis.
Eight rangers enrolled in Certificate III in Multimedia. Completion of this course will enable rangers to play a greater role in documenting and reporting on ranger program activity and developing learning resources for ranger groups.

Workplace English Literacy and Learning (WELL)

Another emphasis of the program this period has been on building sound literacy and numeracy skills among rangers. Baseline testing of language, literacy and numeracy levels completed last year showed generally below-average skill levels in these areas.
Rangers themselves have identified deficiencies in these areas as a major impediment to progressing in their professional development, successfully completing qualifications and competing for jobs within other sectors.
With several ranger groups now at the point of completing Certificate II CLM qualifications the logical progression to Certificate III courses is impeded by limitations in rangers’ ability to complete the
written component of coursework independently.
To address this deficit CLC successfully negotiated for ranger inclusion within the recently developed DEEWR-funded Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program delivered by Central Desert Training.
All seven established ranger groups participated.
During the early stages of WELL training roll-out some difficulties were experienced in attracting suitably experienced trainers to more remote locations and in
the extent to which some
rangers did not regard it as “serious” training, with resulting attendance problems.
However by year’s end all groups were in a regular routine of WELL training participation built into their weekly workplans, and most groups reported receiving good value from the training.
A total of 75 rangers received more than 3100 hours of WELL training in this period with the majority of this delivered in group sessions.

Ranger Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) Participation

Given that many of the key objectives of the ranger programof Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Indigenous Employment Program (IEP), CLC commenced an IEP contract in 2009 to assist with mentoring and training support for 65 ranger placements.
By year’s end all training delivery requirements for the IEP contract had been completed and reporting to DEEWR finalised. The project delivered some very successful outcomes and provided critical funding to allow delivery for a wide variety of training programs and support staff.

Graduations, Awards and Scholarships Achieved in 2010-11

Particularly satisfying highlights of this period are the following significant examples of skills progression within the Ranger Program:

  • 16 Tjuwanpa Rangers and six Anmatyerr Rangers graduated in Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management (CLM) at the end of 2010. It is anticipated that all permanent rangers will complete requirements for Certificate II CLM
  • The senior female ranger from the Warlpiri Ranger group, Madeleine Dixon, was awarded the 2011 Chief Minster’s Study Scholarship for Women for Vocational Education and Training in June in recognition of her achievements. The scholarship will help support her involvement in Certificate IV CLM studies during 2011-12
  • Tjuwanpa Rangers and two Anmatyerr Rangers completed Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. As a result they have all taken on increased responsibilities for overseeing training and supervising project work within their respective ranger groups.

Ranger Camps and Conferences

5th Central Australian Indigenous Community Ranger Camp

The 5th annual CLC Ranger Camp held in March 2011 was relocated to Blatherskite Park in Alice Springs due to bad weather. The camp was a great success with 84 participants representing 14 ranger groups from 16 locations across the Central Australian region.
The camp provided an important opportunity for groups across the Central Australian region to network and share ideas, build skills and present on their work over the year.
A variety of training opportunities were provided for rangers to complete core requirements.

3rd National Indigenous Land and Sea Management Conference

In November 2010, 45 CLC rangers and support staff participated in the 3rd National Indigenous Land and Sea Management Conference in Broken Hill, New South Wales.
Eighteen rangers from the CLC-supported groups presented impressively on aspects of their work to a large audience of 600 conference delegates.

Ranger Mentoring Support

In its second year of operation, the ranger mentor’s role has focussed on delivery of more targeted, strategic mentoring support through shifting the focus away from predominantly reactive responses to urgent issues to a more proactive approach. Earlier identification and responses to individual ranger performance issues seeks to prevent or minimise escalation of issues to the point where disciplinary measures become necessary.
Over 300 hours of individual mentoring support was delivered.
The mix of issues dealt with is presented graphically in the following diagrams. Helping resolve debt and other financial issues constituted a significant part of the support provided to individuals to resolve personal issues impacting on work performance during this period.


The Central Land Council continued to work as a member of the Indigenous Pastoral Program (IPP) to maximise opportunities for Indigenous employment and training in the wider NT pastoral industry.
Significant initiatives and outcomes have arisen from this collaboration, including building a good working relationship with the NT Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA). This has assisted in the delivery of the ILC-funded Real Jobs programs and many other initiatives.
Two young Aboriginal men were placed into Real Jobs positions at Atula and Numery stations and sponsorships and support were provided to a number of young participants in campdrafts, workshops, horse training programs, low stress stock handling courses and other training programs.
The CLC held the 2nd Indigenous Grazing Land Management (GLM) workshop at the Bluebush outstation near Tennant Creek in July 2010. It was attended by 13 participants from Bluebush, Mangalawurru, Hatches Creek, Kurnturlpara, Nguyarrmini , and Tennant Creek.
The CLC Rural Enterprise Unit also continued its role in monitoring Indigenous employment on Aboriginal-owned cattle stations and grazing licences on Aboriginal land. Critical focus is given to Indigenous employment benefits in evaluating all grazing licence proposals received.

Tourism and Hospitality

During the reporting period, the CLC:

  • Conducted tourism career information sessions with 18 Indigenous students
  • Secured governance training for directors of the newly formed Umpiyara Aboriginal Corporation, established for the purpose of a new tourism business in development on the Katiti ALT
  • Secured funding for the employment of five Aboriginal people from the Hermannsburg area by the operator of the Ilpurla Trail for six months as guides, cultural interpreters and camp support crew.

Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK)

Skills Development and Employment

The CLC-hosted IEK Intergenerational Transfer program continued up to the close of the funding period on 31 December 2010. A further 17 on-ground projects were supported and completed across 10 language groups areas in this period.
All projects provided opportunities for:

  • Senior knowledge holders to be engaged and remunerated in a role of actively teaching younger generations participating in  on-country IEK activity
  • Media training for younger participants to develop skills in the use of digital recording equipment and editing software, building their capacity to continue to record and document IEK.