Who can be involved?

Target groups

Who do the community see as the target group?
Young people and their families
We conclude from our data analysis that families are central to development of the skills and knowledge necessary to care for the sea country and the reef. Young people and their families need to work together now and in the future. Families can then influence communities sharing key messages and illustrating what needs to be done to sustain the country and reef though traditional and new practices.
Young people who are becoming rangers, tour guides and other carers for country
These older youth and their adult peers are positioned to use scientific knowledge, data on species’ populations and extensive networks in the Government and other environmental communities to lead how country is cared for in future. They are also the role models for younger people and a likely source of future leadership in communities. They may be key “teachers” of other younger people in Sea-country Guardian educational activities.


Young people in schools
There is opportunity for schools to reinforce messages, support community activities and provide modern literacy and digital skills that empower young people to be informed future custodians of sea country. Schools in conjunction with community Elders, Traditional Owners and local rangers can accelerate learning and provide pathways to employment and qualifications. Schools cannot do this in isolation from the expertise and knowledge in the community. Indigenous staff in schools may be key partners with local community groups who can complement what schools initiate. For schools, with changing staff and other educational agendas, their role should be to support community-centred projects and over time, support existing projects that community do, rather than start again because the school staff are new and believe nothing has happened before. This is one of the greater challenges in involving schools and sustaining their involvement.
The community itself including adults
Although young people are the primary target for activities, their outcomes, messages and energy aim to influence and change community attitudes and actions. For young people, themselves, their family and the community decision makers are their target audience.
Who might conduct activities?
Families may conduct episodes of an activity, for example family camps, or may participate as a family group in a larger activity, for example beach clean ups or tree planting. The data collected in this project strongly suggests time families spend together undertaking authentic and meaningful projects will create the relationships and opportunities for transmission of cultural knowledge and preservation of country. In many activity ideas shared with us, it was apparent that families would need help from community groups, councils or outside agencies, for example with transport, tools or information.
Collaborating groups from within a community
Councils, ranger groups, women’s and men’s groups, schools and others may need to collaborate to undertake community projects. This provides a structure though which resources can be channelled and provides a sustainable infrastructure for activities to be initiated, managed and evaluated. Such collaborations most readily enable the community to build capacity to design and manage its own projects. Sea Country Guardians may become a partner in such activities through a reward or recognition system or other means.
Collaborating groups from within and outside of a community
Outside agencies including the GBRMPA often have a resource and knowledge base that facilitates projects which impact beyond one community. For example, Tangaroa Blue’s project with data collection strategies, training and a database/ web site adds value to local beach cleanups, extending their impact. Other monitoring projects have similar reach and impact, build local capacity and provide a solid conduit for resources and energy. Such projects are often sustainable and can be implemented in many communities over time.