Nearly 40 participants attended a field school in the Tully region as part of the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program on 6 and 7 December.
The field school was based at Echo Creek in the Tully Valley and Mission Beach. Dr Ernie Grant delivered the Welcome to Country which was followed by an informative talk by Cassowary Coast Regional Council Tourism Manager, Richard Blanchette.
The program included: a cultural walk with Traditional Owners; interactive workshops on Wet Tropics plant identificatio and insects; bird watching walk; tropical fruit safari tasting, cassowary conservation presentations; and a post cyclone flora and fauna recovery field trip to Lacey Creek at Djiru National Park at Mission Beach with Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers.
Organisers were delighted to see that the field school attracted a high number of Indigenous participants.
“We were extremely pleased to see the graduation of our first Indigenous participant, Andrew Morta, on the weekend after he successfully completed the online component of the course and attended the field school.”
“There was a significantly strong Indigenous representation at the field school, particularly from the Mandingalbay Yidinji Land and Sea ranger group, the Townsville Cultural Centre and Tablelands Yidinji people. With our additional TQUAL grant funding we hope to attract even more Indigenous participation in the future,” Wet Tropics Tourism and Partnerships Manager, Dr Paul Chantrill said.
“Participants in the tour guide program appreciate the opportunity to network with fellow guides, local Indigenous people, community groups and local tourism operators,” Dr Chantrill added.
Manager of Savannah Guides, Russell Boswell, who facilitates the tour guide program with the Wet Tropics Management Authority, said it had been a fantastic year working with the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program.
“Savannah Guides is looking forward to a great 2014, working with the Wet Tropics Management Authority, to build and strengthen the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program,” Mr Boswell said.
The Wet Tropics Management Authority worked with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Savannah Guides Ltd, Industry Accreditation, tourism operators and guides to develop the tour guide program that will assist the industry to enhance and develop new world-class visitor experiences, in and around the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
For more information on the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program visit here.