Soil Conservation Service Hunter Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team

Hunter Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team project

Key achievements

  • Regional employment of a full-time Aboriginal project manager, team supervisor and at least four Aboriginal trainees.
  • Practical cultural awareness for both Aboriginal people and the Soil Conservation Service.
  • Completion of Conservation and Land Management traineeships.
  • Positive environmental outcomes via completion of land management actions associated with the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme.
  • Improved engagement with the Aboriginal community through ongoing consultation and engagement.
  • Maintenance of Indigenous culture through the active engagement of Aboriginal knowledge and practice.

The challenge

The Soil Conservation Service identified an opportunity to establish an Indigenous Riverkeeper Team in the Hunter region to deliver positive environmental outcomes in this area.

Based on the successful Georges Riverkeeper Program, this project required a long-term funding commitment of approximately $1.65 million over four years.

We're working closely our funding partner, the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to see this work happen.

Work to be undertaken

The Hunter Aboriginal Riverkeeper Team (HART) will carry out bush regeneration and land management works on privately owned land where Local Land Services have established landholder agreements.

This will occur across numerous locations within the Upper Hunter region over a four-year period.

The HART is led by an Aboriginal project manager and supported by an Aboriginal team supervisor. The team includes up to four Aboriginal people in full-time workplace-based Conservation and Land Management traineeships.


The project will redress environmental degradation, create positive educational, employment and business outcomes for Aboriginal people, and overcome Indigenous disadvantage through environmental and heritage management and conservation.

It will also establish, strengthen and promote partnerships, connection and engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

The project has a culture-rich approach and continues the practice of Indigenous Caring for Country in the Upper Hunter region.

Find out more about our river and creek rehabilitation services.

Please note that the HART Program officially concluded in 2022.