Surveying for success
Agri-Phoenix Feature: Phoenyx Seagren
Name: Phoenyx Seagren
Place:Archer Point, near Cooktown
Organisation: Yuku Baja Muliku Land and Sea Program
I have been given an important opportunity to learn from my elders about looking after the land in traditional ways, and to learn from scientists about non-traditional scientific approaches to the challenges of looking after our place. As one of the first Junior Rangers in the Yuku Baja Muliku Junior Ranger Program and then a YBM Ranger Cadet I got my first taste of how much there is to learn.
The Yuku Baja Muliku people are the Traditional Custodians of Archer Point, which is located 20km South of Cooktown, North Queensland. Our traditional lands border two of Australia’s World Heritage areas – the Wet Tropical Rainforests of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
I am now studying Year 11, and doing a Cert 3 in Conservation and Land Management in a School-based Apprenticeship with the YBM Land and Sea Program. I love the opportunities I have to learn from my elders. They have so much knowledge and respect for the land and the sea.
This defines our community here at Archer Point. Learning the ways of caring for the land and sea has taught me so much about our culture and traditions and I am proud to be able to be a part of that.
Taking part in the mussel surveys, the fish surveys, looking after the seagrass beds and learning about the mangroves, I have learned practical ways of protecting our cultural heritage and how this place feeds us. These things will be important for me to pass on, helping maintain our culture for years to come.
It is really cool to be learning new things from different people with great knowledge and skills. I love the hands-on aspect of what I’m doing. Being outdoors is so much more fun than learning in the classroom. The surveys and gathering and recording the data is really interesting.
I find it very rewarding and exciting to have this opportunity at my age. I feel I can make a real difference by knowing how to look after the country the right way.
I strongly recommend the Junior Ranger Program and a school-based apprenticeship to anyone who likes to be outside and loves their country.