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Exploring Possibilities: Creating a network to build the capacity of human resources in the Northern Territory

Trudi Oxley

Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines, Northern Territory.


Extension of production and natural resource management information in the Northern Territory faces many significant obstacles including a vast area to be serviced and the transient nature of the NT population.

Success of extension programs in the NT often ride on the skills and talents of a particular practitioner who may be in the job for a short time, and who take all their knowledge, contacts and experience with them when they leave for other regions of Australia that offer better opportunities and infrastructure for them and their families.

Hence, extension in the NT is faced with the situation of many enthusiastic fresh faces who are keen to learn, but a dearth of experienced professionals and mentors for them to learn from. The problem of a small client base in the NT means that the NRM and agricultural sector can support relatively few professionals in capacity building and change management roles and these few are often overwhelmed by the scale of the areas and enterprises to be covered. So, the challenge is to make the best use of any possible human resources available. There is a real need to look outside the traditional boundaries of extension practice to create a network that can draw on the experience of others who share the same interests and obstacles.

This project aims to create the linkages and provide resources to identify and make a planned effort to support those who are working in the NRM and pastoral industry of the NT, to allow knowledge, resources and experience to be shared. Examples of the types of people who could access this network would include landcare facilitators, company environmental officers, consultants, cattle vetinarians, producers and government employees.

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