In engaging Aboriginal communities, GER seeks to embrace a different model from traditional approaches adopted by programs in the past. The GER approach is based on the Cultural Connections model, which aims to empower the Aboriginal communities to become self reliant in the management of their own land while achieving economic and social benefits. Communities identify their aspirations, determine the outcomes they want, and are responsible for developing programs to meet their objectives.
All partners in the GER are encouraged to work with Aboriginal communities by providing tools and resources that enable and assist. They base their partnership on the following principles:
- Greater acknowledgement of Aboriginal cultural perspectives and values associated with landscapes, habitats and species.
- Increased Aboriginal participation in practical opportunities that benefit the community as well as the GER initiative.
- Empowerment of Aboriginal communities with practical systems, support and sharing information, knowledge experience and understanding.
- Acknowledgement that communities along the corridor are diverse and that a “ground up” approach is required to encourage self motivation, learning, sharing and application of understanding; a positive approach to the revitalisation of traditional knowledge and a reconnection between Aboriginal communities.
- Sympathetic landscape management so that land use is within capability, complemented by management which is appropriate to cultural heritage values, utilising Traditional Knowledge and management techniques and perspectives on the health of Country.