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Caring for Country
Our environmental commitment

No matter where you are in Australia, and no matter whether you and your family have been in Australia for five minutes, five years, five decades or across multiple generations, what unites us all is that we are all standing on Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Land. Recent scientific findings suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived sustainably with the Land for more than 120,000 years, and the continued imperative to care for Country/place is part of our shared history and needs to be learned and understood more broadly. 


In addition to acknowledging Country, and being welcomed to Country, it is important for all members of the community to develop meaningful connections with and to care for the Country/place on which they stand.


It is important for the entire Tjungu Project family to actively connect with, and care for, the Country/place on which our operations stand. Doing so involves respectfully learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, philosophies and practices about caring for Country/place, as well as physically demonstrating respect for the Lands, skies and waterways where living and learning occur. It is also important to consider First Nations perspectives as part of broader sustainability plans, policies and practices. This will reinforce the meaningful and continuous connections that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had with Country/place since time immemorial, as well as provide positive opportunities for all members of the Tjungu Project to become socially and environmentally responsible citizens who display a growing awareness of the importance of First Nations land management and sustainability.


As a starting place, opportunities should be afforded to all Tjungu Project participants to reflect on, and develop, their personal sense of connection to the skies, waterways and lands on which they live and learn. While fostering such opportunities, participants should also focus on developing an understanding and respect for the deep, longstanding and continually important connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Country/place. The relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Country/place is considered sacred, and is simultaneously interconnected with identity, family/kinship, traditions, languages, cultures, and physical, spiritual and socio-emotional well-being. By appropriately drawing on local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content and perspectives pertaining to sciencesgeography and sustainability, as well as to local sites, plants and animals of significance, participants will learn the importance of caring for Country/place first-hand and in culturally appropriate and meaningful ways for each respective area in which their program sits. By building awareness of the impact humans have on the environment, all Tjungu Project participants learn how to play a role in positively living with, rather than imposing on, the Land. 


The Tjungu Project recognises the importance of collaborating with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when considering learning about the local environment.

The Tjungu Project aims to contribute to preserving natural and built environments in the destinations we visit and to reduce the negative impacts our operations may have on the environment. We do this by minimising the use of resources (energy, water, waste) and reducing our carbon emissions in our offices, on our programs and in the destinations we visit.


In our offices (including virtual):

• Implementing energy conservation initiatives (such as more efficient lighting/equipment).
• Ensuring better waste management by using ‘avoid, reuse, reduce, recycle principles.
• Adopting better purchasing practices (e.g. sourcing products with post-consumer recycled content).
• Implementing water-saving initiatives to reduce consumption.

• Encourage the use of public transport, carpooling, and biking to work. 

• Limiting corporate travel anytime possible.

• Employees are encouraged to use virtual meeting technology to reduce in-person meetings.


On our programs:
• Using local transport where safe, reliable and feasible, and when this is not feasible, using private, locally owned transport.
• Ensuring our vehicles/fleets are well maintained and fuel-efficient.
• Encouraging travellers to minimise their waste and water usage on the trip.
• Encouraging our suppliers to adopt more sustainable practices or choosing suppliers who already have greener practices in place.
• Eating at local eateries (limiting food km).
• Shopping at local markets offering local produce, items, souvenirs etc.


In the destinations we visit:
• Understanding the environmental issues in destinations and minimising our direct impact (eg. if there’s a local deforestation issue, we’ll avoid purchasing and using firewood for a campfire).
• Ensuring our passengers preserve and do not contaminate the local water supply.
• Observing all national and marine park visitor rules.
• Using a ‘take in, take back out’ system of waste management in remote regions and national parks.
• Using established or existing tracks and paths.
• Minimising the use of intrusive devices (such as lights) and keeping noise to a minimum at culturally significant sites and other sensitive places.
• Discouraging travellers from touching fragile environments (e.g. rocks or formations in caves).


Environmental Management System


We will address our impacts on the environment through the development of an Environmental Management System (EMS) that meets the requirements of the international standard AS/NZS ISO 14001.


We will set objectives and targets and review them annually in order to improve our environmental performance and will regularly assess the environmental impacts of our operations.

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