First Nations’ approaches to be integrated into regional Vic agriculture training

June 26, 2024 BY

The region is set to benefit from a $2 million state government investment that will support projects embedding Aboriginal traditional knowledge and practices into agriculture training. Photo: SUPPLIED

A $2 MILLION investment by the state government will support projects embedding Aboriginal traditional knowledge and practices into accredited TAFE agriculture training, aiming to benefit future agricultural workers.

The garinga djimbayang Grant Program, funded through the state’s $50 million Agricultural College Modernisation Program, seeks to enhance cultural knowledge among agriculture students and encourage more First Nations people to pursue careers in agriculture.

Victoria’s Registered Aboriginal Parties will collaborate with TAFEs to integrate Traditional Owner knowledge and practices into agricultural training, reflecting the primary guardianship role of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

Designed under the principles of self-determination with input from First Nations experts via a Yuma Yirramboi Council sub-committee, the program’s name, provided by the Dja Dja Wurrung People, means “to grow and learn” in their language.

Minister for Agriculture Ros Spence said the program recognised the value of Aboriginal traditional knowledge.

“We recognise the value of Aboriginal traditional knowledge and practices in agriculture, and our hope is that the garinga djimbayang Program will encourage more First Nations people to pursue a career in the sector,” she said.

At an Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting held on March 8, all Australian agriculture ministers agreed to develop a National Statement on First Nations in Agriculture, driven by the principles of self-determination and aimed at advancing First Nations perspectives, experiences, and interests.

A taskforce, comprising representatives from federal, state, and territory governments, has been established to develop the statement, which seeks to promote greater economic inclusion for First Nations Australians in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry.

The taskforce plans to deliver the statement by early 2025, following extensive national consultation with First Nations stakeholders.

Minister for Skills and TAFE Gayle Tierney said the program facilitated cultural exchange.

“This program integrates First Peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices into our agricultural training and TAFE courses, fostering a rich cultural exchange that equips students with invaluable traditional knowledge for a sustainable future.”

Grants valued between $300,000 and $1,000,000 are now available.

For more information, head to agriculture.vic.gov.au.