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Promoting a better understanding of Aboriginal heritage


Developing a better understanding of Aboriginal history and culture is the aim of an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage training course being held this week for Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

Minister for Parks and Heritage, Judy Jackson said the course is being held at Narawntapu National Park, which was the first park to revert to an Aboriginal name.

Narawntapu National Park was formerly known as Asbestos Range National Park before it was changed to the Narawntapu which is the Aboriginal name for the Badger Head and West Head area of the park.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service is committed to working with the Aboriginal community in the management of Aboriginal heritage matters and this course will help to increase the capacity of staff in that role," Mrs Jackson said.

"The Parks and Wildlife Service has demonstrated this commitment by the employment of five Aboriginal trainees and they will be among staff participating in the course.

"Through this course, Parks staff will develop an understanding of Aboriginal history and culture that will help them to address management issues in conjunction with the Aboriginal community.

"It will also help them to build on those important relationships that will contribute to the sensitive management and interpretation of Aboriginal heritage and the protection of Aboriginal sites."

Among those presenting at the course are staff from the Aboriginal Heritage Office, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (TALSC), the Tasmanian Education Aboriginal Education Association and staff from the Department of Primary Industry, Water and the Environment.

TALSC manager Colin Hughes said the most important outcome of the course will be a deeper understanding of Tasmanian Aboriginal history among Parks staff.

"Along with this, they will have a greater understanding of the different types of Aboriginal sites and be better equipped to manage these sites," Mr Hughes said.

"The course includes procedures and protocols in consulting the Aboriginal community and the roles and responsibilities of community organisations and government agencies."