Aboriginal students from the inland Pilbara town of Tom Price recently had the opportunity to experience something completely different, travelling to the coast and helping with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program.
In October, 11 students from the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation’s Tom Price Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program, Garnjurri Mirnumurri Ngurr-unga, departed for a week long camp exploring Gnaraloo Station near Carnarvon and the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth.
Tom Price co-ordinator Joe Manning said one of the great parts of the camp was the work the students did with the Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program.
“The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program collects baseline data on sea turtle nesting activities along the Gnaraloo coastline to identify trends and required management activity to protect endangered marine species and critical coastal nesting habitat.
“The students woke at 4.30am to take part in a 7km turtle survey learning a lot about the conservation work but also teaching the scientists something new – the word used for ‘turtle’ from their language group,” Mr Manning said.
The students also visited Rio Tinto Dampier Salt’s Lake MacLeod operations near Carnarvon and were taken on a tour of the operation, learning about the various stages of the salt production process, as well as the many other job roles that they have on site.
“The students really enjoyed seeing another part of the Rio Tinto business that is quite different to the Iron Ore operations in Tom Price, and it gives them further food for thought in terms of future job prospects,” Mr Manning said.
Other activities on the camp included a visit to Carnarvon’s Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program, a tour of Sweeter Banana Carnarvon, and kayaking at Yardie Creek.
The Tom Price and Carnarvon Follow the Dream/Partnership for Success programs are supported by Rio Tinto, the Western Australian Education Department and Gumula Aboriginal Corporation.
Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Tom Price co-ordinator Joe Manning 0438 809 858
Tom Price Follow the Dream co-coordinator Joe Manning with Year 9 students Draike Jones and Corbann Macale visiting Dampier Salt.