Kununurra students have removed invasive weeds to rehabilitate a local spring as part of a new program offering On Country education opportunities and pathways to future employment.
East Kimberley College’s Ranger Program began this term and involves students working with local organisations to learn workplace-ready skills outside the classroom as part of their regular schooling.
Fifteen students are already taking part in the program. Most recently they visited Molly Springs where they removed invasive weed species.
Students also learnt about native seed collection and helped local organisations with the Argyle mine site rehabilitation.
As part of the program, students will have the chance to study a Certificate I in AgriFood Operations and it is hoped they will go on to study a Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management.
Ranger Program coordinator Jessica Masson said a key focus of the program was enabling students to develop a range of skills that will help them secure future employment.
“The goal of the program is to incorporate the science curriculum, Indigenous knowledge, community, and local and government organisations to carve a pathway to meaningful employment for these students,” Ms Masson told ABC Kimberley.
“The program’s focus is key work capabilities, like teamwork, communication, time management, and leadership skills, as well as the practical skills that you would learn on specific job sites like identifying native plants and seeds, how to work safely in different environments, seed germination, and working in the field.”
Ms Masson said there had been positive engagement from students and it was fantastic to see them achieving success beyond the classroom.
“It’s really nice to see them apply themselves fully to the work outside and see really great success in themselves,” she said.
“As a teacher it is heart-warming to have those little moments with the kids and seeing their successes which you might not see in a normal classroom environment. They are really in their element.”