Education, Training and Professional Development
NAILSMA uses land and sea management based activities as an attraction and engagement tool to achieve employment-ready training and higher education participation outcomes including improved numeracy and literacy, attendance, and higher education pathways.
An emerging feature of contemporary Indigenous land and sea management is a growing interest by Indigenous participants in leading and delivering research and management programs on country that combine traditional and scientific knowledges and approaches. Science, scientific tools and research partnerships are increasingly valued by Indigenous people as they seek greater ownership of decision making and planning on the lands and seas. A growing array of new threats and impacts, as well as opportunities such as carbon farming, livelihood development and protected area management, mean that research and science has increasingly greater relevance to Indigenous communities.
Through field work and participatory action research, appropriate locally driven educational activities that promote Indigenous knowledge systems become a vehicle for the effective transfer of Western scientific and technical skills for Indigenous students.
Practical learning on country activities enhance local knowledge and support mainstream education outcomes. The significance of local and traditional knowledge to higher education lies in its capacity to engender confidence, enhance psychological resilience and promote positive personal identity in learners. This is particularly significant where mainstream language and culture are effectively foreign to the local learning environment. Confidence in local languages and knowledge systems is both significant to learning in a mainstream context and is a critical foundation for active engagement in emerging land management economies, future livelihoods and employment outcomes, for example fire and carbon abatement, biodiversity management and payment for environmental services more generally.
NAILSMA builds on this interest and sets out to work within existing partnerships and networks to:
- articulate the links between Indigenous aspirations for management of country and the benefits and opportunities of engaging in higher education;
- identify opportunities and impediments to greater Indigenous participation in higher education in the context of land and sea management, including livelihood development;
- provide on-country, in-university and other opportunities for Indigenous community leaders and members to learn about and engage in research and higher education, including but not limited to activities relevant to Indigenous land and sea management; and
- encourage the growing interest of young Indigenous people in many career paths including ranger and other natural and cultural resource management work, and linking this to the requirements for individual success in primary, secondary and higher education.