Aboriginal rangers talk about what it means to them to work on Country

News article |

Vast areas of Australia are actively cared for by Aboriginal people who undertake critical work to manage cultural sites and heritage values, as well as addressing environmental issues such as restoring fire regimes, conserving biodiversity, managing weeds and feral animals, restoring degraded land, and managing for climate change impacts. In this way, working on Country achieves great results for the environment as well as cultural, social, education, health, employment and economic development outcomes.

South Australian landscape boards work in partnership with Aboriginal people to work on and care for country.

Riverland Rangers…‘makes me feel like I’m part of something’

The Riverland Rangers – the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (RMMAC) ranger team – are working to protect and preserve their Country’s unique cultural and environmental values.

Through the voices of those involved, this performance story, captured on video (2.08 min), explores some of the program’s early outcomes for the rangers, their families, RMMAC, the local Aboriginal community and the wider community of the Riverland:

Performance stories are used to capture intangible outcomes such as empowerment and confidence, which are difficult to measure with normal quantitative monitoring tools.

Want to hear more? Watch the full-length Riverland Rangers story (10:00 min).

The project is funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation and the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.

Key coastal environment role in Northern and Yorke…‘I’m trying to help out as a Narungga man’

Aboriginal rangers talk about what it means to them to work on Country

Inspiring a love of nature in young Indigenous people is a driving force for recently appointed ranger, Farrin Miller.

“There are not many Narungga people working in government on Yorke Peninsula, and I want to try and have a positive influence on younger people, to get them excited and into nature,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll have some time to engage with the young fellas, whether that’s through planting trees or other coastal work.”

A Narungga and Ngadjuri man, Farrin won the position of Djulda-wawa Badja Ranger for the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board in February, the board’s first Narungga role.

Djulda-wawa Badja means ‘resilient coast’ in Narungga language and aims to strengthen and protect Yorke Peninsula’s coast and improve biodiversity. A 2-year project led by the board and supported by Yorke Peninsula Council, Barunga West Council, AGL and Legatus Group, it includes on-ground action such as revegetation, fencing and weed management and support for eastern osprey with the roll-out of artificial nesting sites at Port Broughton and Coobowie.

Threatened fish release in central Flinders Ranges...'the pride and excitement overflowed’

Yappala Rangers play a key role in the monitoring of the threatened Wirta Udla Yarri (Flinders Ranges purple-spotted gudgeon on their Yarta (country) in the Indigenous Protected Area located northwest of Hawker.

Six hundred of the small, elusive, spotted fish were transported from sites in the northern Flinders Ranges to new homes in permanent springs in the central Flinders Ranges in 2021, doubling the known number of population sites of the species and reducing its extinction risk.

Roger Rigney is the coordinator of the Yappala IPA Rangers, from their home on Adnyamathanha country.

'Community and the rangers were excited that they could be a part of, and participate in a project which not only contributed to the survival of an endangered native fish species, but more importantly a fish from their Yarta,' Roger said. 'The rangers, community and children all participated in the release and the pride and excitement overflowed when asked if they would like the honour to do so.'

The rangers are tasked with monitoring, including more complex assessments which involve visits from Ecoknowledge, SA Arid Lands Landscape Board representatives and National Parks and Wildlife SA. The translocation of the Flinders Ranges purple spotted gudgeon was undertaken as part of the Bounceback and Beyond project, which is delivered by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Learn more about the translocation of the purple spotted gudgeon and see fish released in the stunning Yappala IPA (central Flinders Ranges) in The Translocation of The Purple Spotted Gudgeon – YouTube (6:44 min):

SA Aboriginal Land Sea Management Workshop 2023: ‘we are moving forward…you can feel the momentum in the room’

Landscape boards supported the April 2023 workshop in Hahndorf, building and strengthening relationships with First Nations partners and sharing knowledge, aspirations, and common challenges in land and sea management.

Hear from workshop participants in this Country Needs People video (4:00 min):

SA Landscape Boards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statement of Commitment

South Australia’s nine landscape boards have set out their commitment to implementing actions that support board members, staff and Aboriginal people to work together to manage, protect and restore their region’s landscapes.

View the Landscape boards of SA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statement of Commitment.

National NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday) to celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The 2023 theme is ‘For Our Elders.’

Find out more at National NAIDOC Week | NAIDOC.

More information

Learn more about the ways landscape boards are Walking alongside First Nations to care for Country, supporting Aboriginal cultural burning in South Australia, and walking Reconciliation talk. Find these stories and more at landscape.sa.gov.au or subscribe to get news and blogs direct to your inbox every two months.

References:

Wetlands and Indigenous values - DCCEEW (accessed June 2023)

Using the 'Most Significant Change' (MSC) Technique to measure the intangible - tools4dev (accessed June 2023)

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