Introducing Michael Morta

April 21, 2020

Ask Michael Morta about the Wet Tropics region and he’ll tell you it’s part of his make-up.

The Ngadjon-jii traditional owner grew up swimming in the creeks of the Atherton Tablelands, Little Mulgrave, Babinda, Tully and Cardwell areas, and getting to know the indigenous people in each community as his family moved around the region.

“The Wet Tropics area is a special place for me and I’m passionate about preserving our natural and cultural landscapes,’’ Mr Morta says.

He has recently been appointed as Terrain NRM’s Biodiversity and Indigenous Engagement Coordinator. In this role he’ll be monitoring threatened species and ecological communities across the Wet Tropics region, and he’ll also be working with Wet Tropics traditional owners.

“I’m excited to get back to a role like this where I’m helping to look after Country from the wildlife to management of Country,’’ he said. “An important part of this is keeping traditional owners involved in natural resource processes and management.”

Mr Morta was a trainee indigenous ranger and has since worked as an Aboriginal liaison officer, cultural heritage manager, and marine parks ranger and supervisor among other roles.

As part of the Building Rainforest Resilience project, he will be helping to reduce threats to the endangered southern cassowary, Mabi forest and littoral rainforest. The project involves revegetation work, weed management, habitat protection and finding solutions to cassowary deaths and injuries on roads. His main role will be working with community groups to measure the differences they are making in improving and extending habitat.

The Building Rainforest Resilience project and the indigenous role are supported by Terrain NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Mr Morta works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:30am-4:30pm, and on Thursdays from 8:30am-12:30pm. He will spend two and half days a week on the Rainforest Resilience project and one day a week in the indigenous role. Michael can be contacted on 4043 8000 or by emailing: michael.morta@terrain.org.au