Providing education is a fundamental part of AMRRIC’s aim of enabling communities to manage the health and wellbeing of their companion animals, but when you’re a small not for profit organisation working across a large and remote geographical area this has its challenges. To have the greatest impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their companion animals through education AMRRIC has had to think outside of the square, and the results so far are nothing short of positive.
The development of Education Resource Kits (ERKs) is enabling AMRRIC’s school lessons about caring for dogs to be shared more broadly across remote regions of Australia. Each kit contains useful resources and props to aid in the delivery of the lessons so they are fun and interactive for children. By providing support to existing community staff who can deliver this education such as Environmental Health Workers (EHWs) and Animal Management Workers (AMWs), AMRRIC is utilising strong and trusted existing community relationships whilst achieving a broader reach of education.
In recent months the demand for ERKs has became so high that AMRRIC has now partnered with Four Paws Australia who have provided funding to produce 50 kits for distribution across multiple remote communities. AMRRIC has also successfully sought support from businesses such as Bunnings and Greyhound Australia in the form of substantial discounts on products for the kits contents as well as transportation to get them to where they are needed most. As a result AMRRIC has engaged local charity Helping People Achieve to construct the kits as the time required to do this was beyond AMRRIC’s resourcing capacity.
Through innovative thinking and collaboration many of the 50 ERKs have already been sent to communities in the Torres Strait Islands, Groote Eylandt, Tennant Creek and Yirrkala, all of which have received on-the-ground training in use of the kits by AMRRIC Education Officers. For AMRRIC this is just the beginning, with many others set to receive theirs in the coming months.