Senator Nigel Scullion is the first to volunteer for the new e-learning training course for Kakadu guides.
In launching the course at Charles Darwin University on Monday (November 20) Senator Scullion said he was so impressed by the content that he wanted to undertake the course as soon as possible.
‘I often take friends and other people into Kakadu national park, and the course will be very useful and educational in pointing out things of interest,’ he told the audience at the Mal Nairn lecture theatre launch.
The new course, available on CD, will be compulsory for guides with tour operators in Kakadu from April, 2008.
Before that date, however, Parks Australia hopes that most tour operators will have signed up their guides to undertake the course.
It was designed by CDU staff under lecturer in tourism and hospitality Ian Hutton in partnership with Parks Australia, which controls Kakadu National Park.
Kakadu’s traditional owners and the park’s administration have long wanted to improve the knowledge of guides, especially since the death of a tourist four years ago.
The course will focus on Indigenous culture, safety in the park for tourists and an understanding of Kakadu’s unique wetland environment.
The CD provides a wealth of information on history, culture, flora and fauna and safety—presented in an easy-to-learn format with progressive assessments. There are also messages from the traditional owners and a guide to the correct pronunciation of Aboriginal names.
A similar course is now being prepared for guides at Uluru and Kata-Tjuta, expected to come on stream next year.