Community Engagement Manager, Perth NRM
Ingrid Sieler has extensive experience in working with the community to conserve our cities' natural spaces. Most recently she has led a team in engaging new members of the community to care for coastal and bushland areas in greater metropolitan Perth. She has transferred her environmental and park management experience and the strategic ideas of programs like Healthy Parks Healthy People to establish new programs and encourage community participation. Ingrid sees strong benefits from increasing the public's understanding of the cultural values of parks and natural places. Increasing appreciation of Noongar ecological knowledge is a key aspect of her role.
Incorporating Aboriginal Cultural Heritage to Build Community Engagement in Parks
Perth NRM is raising the profile of the cultural values of Perth's urban parks to build community appreciation and engagement in caring for them. Health benefits of being in parks are recognised but what can be gained by bringing together community groups and the knowledge of the First Nation's People? Perth NRM has developed their Noongar Six Seasons education program to connect environmental volunteers, community members and Whadjuk Elders in nature reserves around Perth. For each season an Elder shares Aboriginal Ecological Knowledge about native plants and animals, whilst the environmental volunteers provide guided instruction to new participants about natural resource management activities like weeding, revegetation and plant and animal surveys. The aim is to increase appreciation of connections between Caring for Country and work of volunteer groups in managing natural areas in parks and reserves. Benefits include social cohesion and increased desire to learn more about our cultural heritage.