We welcomed Eddie Bobongie last October as AMRRIC’s Animal Management Worker (AMW) Project Manager. After just a few short months in the role, we cornered Eddie for some of his first impressions…
The Animal Management Worker (AMW) Project aims to improve community health and wellbeing in remote Indigenous communities through the creation of local positions for Indigenous Animal Management Workers with expertise on dog health and management.
Why did you join AMRRIC?
I’m working with AMRRIC to exchange knowledge. I’d like to see local people qualified on the ground in Animal Management (AM) in the Northern Territory.
What does your position involve? Tell us what a regular day at work is for you.
My position involves the challenges of encouraging local people into service provision by AMWs, increasing community awareness of issues involved in AM, and gaining local people’s trust. A regular work day for me is a balance of office training, field activities, like data collection, encouraging, mentoring, coordinating and meeting people with the local Indigenous Animal Management Workers. Getting out there in communities and working with the AMWs on the ground is what I enjoy most. It means sharing my experiences, culture and languages.
What have been the most important skills for you in this position?
Definitely the experience I gained from working with Queensland Health in Animal Management Programs and skills of communication which are appropriate to the community and culture. My time in the Cape and the Torres has given me awareness of the skills, equipment, resources and duties needed by the AMWs.
What are the changes you’re seeing in the community from the program?
The people are becoming more aware of the program – coming forward with issues about their animals. With increasing skills, the AMWs are becoming more confident with their position in the community and more comfortable working with AMRRIC staff.
And on a personal note… having moved to Darwin to work with AMRRIC, what do you like most about the NT? And what do you miss about Queensland?
The NT gives me new places to explore for fishing, camping, boating and hunting. I can catch up with “long lost” family, and I get to work with the AMRRIC team.
What do I miss? Family, country, the untouched environment of the Cape, traditional land, more fish in Queensland, the connection with the people of the Cape and Torres and my comfort zone.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Eddie join our team. For a close up view of Eddie’s extensive experience in this area.
We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of the AMW Program. To get daily highlights of our work, like AMRRIC on Facebook.