Planning for the Christmas Island Junior Rangers program
Marnie and Kylie, our multi-talented program developers, have been working with their colleagues at the Christmas Island District High School, their students, and Christmas Island National Parks staff to develop the Crab Cadets and Junior Rangers program. Staff from the School and National Park gathered in the school library on the 26th July to discuss and plan the course. This session demonstrated some of the early benefits of working on the program.
As Park Manager, Kerrie Bennison explained, “it was great to build a stronger relationship between the two organisations, which is really important, as we increasingly work more closely together. We are a small, remote island but many people met someone at the session they hadn’t previously met or got to know someone a little more”.
From School Deputy Principal, Amy’s point of view, “it was also great to get the expert input from Parks staff as they are the ones who know the depth and breadth of what they do on a daily basis and the input from them really expanded our concept of what is possible for the Crab Cadets and Junior Ranger program”.
Our potential junior rangers are also contributing to the design of the program as it is important to check in on their existing level of understanding of the Christmas Island environment and what will capture, and hold, their interest.
A second consultation session was held on the 30th August with local businesses who are directly involved in conservation, sustainability, rehabilitation or tourism on the island. The community, who are a critical component in the success of the program, eagerly participated in the community consultation sessions with many local businesses and organisations keen to be involved or provide support.
It is wonderful to see the broad level of interest and support for this program and the strong community engagement in the project planning processes. Working closely together in these early stages will ensure that when the program hits the ground next year it will provide our Christmas Island Crab Cadets and Junior Student Rangers with the best possible chance to develop the right skills and experience to protect their local environment and contribute to the island’s future.