With NAIDOC Week and its 2021 theme, Heal Country, fresh in our minds, many of us are undoubtedly thinking about how we can contribute to the ongoing protection of our cultural heritage, as well as the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Here at Kennelly Constructions, we love to uplift the Indigenous community, and one of the ways we are doing this is through the Kennelly Constructions Indigenous Resource Student Bursary. We have committed $30,000 over two years to support a young Marra woman, Emma Barrett, to achieve her academic dreams.
Emma will participate in a $300k research project focused on the conservation of dugongs and green turtles, established by a collaboration between the Northern Institute and TropWater (JCU). The southern Gulf of Carpentaria provides the most significant habitat for these culturally significant species in the Northern Territory, and conservation efforts are reliant on locally-led monitoring to determine effective management.
During the year-long project (mid-2021 – mid-2022), the Marra rangers will be working with CDU on a Commonwealth-funded project to map the benthic habitats of their Sea Country, also known as the Limmen Marine Park. This is a fantastic opportunity for Emma to be immersed in an engaging environment with Elders, rangers and scientists, to learn about Country whilst completing a Diploma of Indigenous Research through the Northern Institute.
Why we chose Emma for this opportunity:
- She has completed Year 12, and has recently been involved in the Healthy Country Planning (HCP) program a global initiative of the Conservation Coaches Network (CCNet)
- She has experience working in the Limmen Bight Marine Park alongside family members and rangers.
- She currently assists in the family business, a fishing camp for tourists in Marra Country.
- She is dedicated to using the knowledge and skills gained in the Diploma to continue looking after Country and supporting her community.
We can’t wait to see what Emma achieves, as well as the positive impact the project will have on some of our most endangered (and precious) marine species. If you’d like to learn more about the outcomes, keep an eye out for the short film being made about the project, which will be screened at the Malandarri Festival in 2022.
Social and Community Engagement
As a Supply Nation Certified Indigenous-Owned Business, we are passionate about supporting First Nations people and doing our bit for the community, and the Kennelly Constructions Indigenous Resource Student Bursary is just one example. Some of the other areas we actively get involved in are:
- Environment and conservation
- Indigenous community engagement
- Indigenous cultural archiving
- Indigenous STEM
- Women and girls in STEM
- Indigenous women and girls in STEM
- Indigenous higher education
- Indigenous learning on country
- Indigenous communities growing their own skills/workforce