Respect for Country Job Skills Project

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Case for change

The units of competency in the AHC Training Package related to Aboriginal Site Works (ASW) and Indigenous Land Management (ILM) have not been reviewed for content for some time. During this period, job roles have grown in importance and more opportunities exist for Aboriginal and Islander people to take up occupations related to the skills and knowledge covered by the unit sectors.

It is important to retain the integrity of the units and protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights to be able to utilise these knowledge and skills for their communities and for personal vocations. It is also important to ensure that these critical knowledge and skills can be recognised by employers for job opportunities, and that any skills gaps are identified and addressed.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the 2021 Annual Update to the IRC Skills Forecast (see pages 63-68).

The Agriculture and Production Horticulture IRC and the Amenity Horticulture, Landscaping, Conservation and Land Management IRC will oversee this project as part of their responsibility to support engagement with the industry, and to ensure the project meets industry stakeholder needs.

Skills Impact will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see pages 63-68)

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

Project Plan

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures possess skills and knowledge for respecting Country that have been developed over thousands of years. Some of these skills and knowledge are used in jobs connected to managing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land and reporting on important sites. These are described in nationally endorsed qualifications, skill sets and units that are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned registered training organisations (RTOs) to equip leaners for jobs in ecosystem management, conservation, environmental and cultural analysis, and ranger occupations, as well as roles preparing government, legislative or regulatory reports.

Skills Impact is seeking to connect with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about whether these qualifications and stills standards still describe the skills and knowledge required of this work, and to hear about any improvements that can be made.

The project team of Michelle Ingley-Smith and Cathy Beven are here to talk about the current qualifications, skill sets and units and are seeking guidance on whether they can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners and communities.



Michelle Ingley-Smith, Industry Engagement Manager

Michelle is a proud Maori woman descending from the Ngati Korokoro hapu (subtribe) of the Ngapuhi iwi (tribe). Her ancestors traditionally inhabited the area around Hokianga on the North-West coast of Northland, Aotearoa. She currently lives on Country of the Kaurna people in the Adelaide Plains of South Australia.

0438 632 439

Read Michelle’s bio


Cathy Beven, Industry Skills Standards Specialist

Cathy has experience training and working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Far North Queensland, specifically in and around Cape York and Thursday Island. She has also worked with members of a not-for-profit organisation designing a holistic healthy living program for school students in Aboriginal communities in Northern Territory and Northern Western Australia. She currently lives on Boon Wurrung Country.

03 9321 3526

Read Cathy’s bio

Feedback about this project is welcomed at any time by contacting Michelle or Cathy by email or phone.

If you would like to receive updates on the project, you can register your interest by following the newsletter subscription link below.


Subscribe to updates about the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management’ as your industry of interest.

Register your interest

Relevant Occupations
  • Rangers Land & Sea
  • Conservation Field Officers
  • Cultural & Heritage Officers
  • Land Council Site Officers
  • ILM Assistants
  • Mine Workers
  • Surveyors
  • Forestry Workers
  • Tourism Operators / Guides

Project Scope

As part of this project, we are seeking feedback on two qualifications, 14 skill sets and 35 units of competency that relate to skills and knowledge for respecting Country.

Qualifications and Units

AHCASW301 Protect places of Aboriginal cultural significance
AHCASW302 Relate Aboriginal culture to sites work
AHCASW303 Identify and record Aboriginal sites, objects and cultural landscapes
AHCASW304 Identify Indigenous culturally significant plants
AHCASW305 Work with Aboriginal ceremonial secret sacred materials
AHCASW306 Use technology in Aboriginal sites work
AHCASW307 Support the documentation of Aboriginal cultural landscapes
AHCASW308 Apply cultural significance to Aboriginal sites and landscapes
AHCASW309 Interpret Aboriginal cultural landscape
AHCASW310 Move and store Aboriginal cultural material
AHCASW312 Maintain an Aboriginal cultural site
AHCASW313 Apply knowledge of relevant legislation to Aboriginal sites work
AHCASW501 Survey and report on Aboriginal cultural sites
AHCILM201 Maintain cultural places
AHCILM202 Observe and report plants or animals
AHCILM203 Record information about Country
AHCILM302 Provide appropriate information on cultural knowledge
AHCILM305 Work with an Aboriginal Community or organisation
AHCILM306 Follow Aboriginal cultural protocols
AHCILM307 Implement Aboriginal cultural burning practices
AHCILM308 Identify traditional customs and land rights for an Indigenous Community
AHCILM401 Protect places of cultural significance
AHCILM402 Report on place of potential cultural significance
AHCILM403 Contribute to the proposal for a negotiated outcome for a given area of Country
AHCILM404 Record and document Community history
AHCILM405 Develop work practices to accommodate cultural identity
AHCILM501 Conduct field research into natural and cultural resources
AHCILM502 Develop conservation strategies for cultural resources
AHCILM503 Manage restoration of cultural places
AHCILM504 Develop strategies for Indigenous land or sea management
AHCILM505 Map relationship of business enterprise to culture and Country
AHCILM506 Operate within Community cultures and goals
AHCILM508 Propose a negotiated outcome for a given area of Country
AHCILM510 Plan for successful cultural practice at work
AHCILM601 Manage cultural processes in an Indigenous organisation



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