Indigenous students will soon have another career pathway open to them as a ranger cadetships program is trialled at Broome Senior and Kununurra District high schools this year.
Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett was at Broome Senior High School last week to announce the $4.1 million pilot program, which will also run in six interstate schools.
Mr Garrett said the Government had recognised the need for emphasis on alternative pathways and the value in ranger groups.
“For too long there has been too strong an emphasis just on further academic learning, but this is another pathway for students to consider,” he said.
“The aim of this program is to help students successfully move from school to work, preferably in their local area, and in a role that benefits both themselves and their community.”
Each school, which had been identified as having already shown a commitment to quality teaching and learning, and the ability to deliver a program such as the ranger pilot, will get up to $250,000 to deliver it.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for you here to participate in,” Mr Garrett told the Broome students.
“We want to make sure when you are at school, you can see good employment opportunities in natural resource management, tourism and ranger groups, so that you can develop those skills of working outdoors and on-country, and take that passion for it with you when you finish school.”
Broome Senior High principal Saeed Amin said he and the school were excited about the program which he hoped would work in well with the Bushrangers WA cadets program already available as a subject to students in all grades within the school.
“As a trial this is a great opportunity for us at the school to enhance our current programs both for indigenous and non-indigenous students,” he said.
The eight schools will start the pilot program in the third school term, but Mr Garrett said he hoped to soon announce rollout to more schools for next year.