Rangers from northern Queensland, northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory recently brushed up on their skills through the Biosecurity Fundamentals 2022 Online training workshops.
Delivered on behalf of the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS), ranger groups from across the north who conduct fee-for-service biosecurity activities, took part in the valuable online training.
NAQS adapted the usual face-to-face training into an online delivery mode with over 20 ranger groups made up of 70 participants dialling into the live and tailored two-day programs.
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, assistant secretary, science and surveillance group, Murray Korff, said the lingering impacts of the global pandemic had impacted the in-person delivery.
"With travel restrictions on-going in some parts of Australia, ranger teams have not missed out on valuable training to aid in the important delivery of biosecurity services," he said.
"Thank you to those groups who worked closely with us to deliver the online Biosecurity Fundamentals program for 2022.
"Despite some minor technical challenges, rangers embraced the new online delivery and we look forward to getting back to those regions and continue the face-to-face learning at the earliest opportunity."
Training was presented from a range of aquatic scientists, botanists, entomologists, plant pathologists and veterinarians.
Activities included virtual plant host mapping, 'food plant bingo' and a mock community animal health report. Rangers were also encouraged to enter a biosecurity photo competition.
The NAQS team said they aimed to return in-person workshops for the 2023 Biosecurity Fundamentals training.
Learning also continued with the Indigenous Ranger Coastal Clean Up Project (IRCCP) Ghost Nets Initiative.
The training was rolled out to 10 groups from Apudthama Rangers at the tip of Cape York Peninsula through to Gumar Markathal Rangers at Galiwinku on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory.
The initiative aims to tackle the issue of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ghost nets) and plastic litter in the waters and beaches of northern Australia.
To keep the online workshops engaging, teams were encouraged to share their stories of marine debris with a clear theme of "you never know what you will find."
Videos starring the Gimuy-Walubara Yidinji rangers demonstrating the finer points of how the data is recorded for various ghost net and marine debris activities would soon be made available to rangers who take part in the fee for service activity.
Mr Korff said the Indigenous Ranger Coastal Clean Up Project was already showing signs of early success.
"Training has also been going well with those involved in ghost net and marine debris clean up," he said.
Limited training had been delivered successfully online with face-to-face training to resume in June in the Northern Territory.
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