Bush food opens doors for employment
ABORIGINAL culture, land management and food will be available via vocational education from a new Wollongbar facility.
The new training centre will be used to farm indigenous bush foods.
Students will gain practical knowledge and skills in indigenous land management, forest regeneration, land conservation and farming indigenous bush food.
Bundjalung woman and North Coast Community College's ultural trainer, Tracy King, will work with students in gaining an understanding and appreciation of various bush foods and native plants and share in the opportunity to be involved in interesting workshops and courses with the broader community.
"In order to access Aboriginal culture and food, to learn about it, you need places like this one," she said.
"It's about bush food, where to find it and traditional knowledge."
The Lismore resident said Aboriginal people traditionally knew what food and medicine plants to find at different times of the year, following the natural local cycles of the land.
"That's our culture and the key to our connection to land," she said.
"It would be a good idea to incorporate our own way of doing things, instead of having a purely commercial project; the idea is for culture to be shared, and the training will be shared with whoever is interested."
Ms King said she learned Aboriginal culture from many people in the local community.
"Traditionally, women were the educators, except for men's business," she said.
"It's important that culture is shared, but it has to be done by Aboriginal people and done in our way, we need to share culture to help with sustainability and live with the land."
The centre was officially opened at the new North Coast Community College Primary Industries Training Centre in Wollongbar by Ben Franklin MLC.
The new programs available to study are a Certificate III in indigenous Land Management, Certificate III in Conservation Land Management, Certificate III in Production Horticulture and Certificate III in Agriculture.