Around 200 Indigenous rangers and partners from around the Kimberley came together for a ranger forum last month to share knowledge and undertake training and workshops in a range of practical skills for natural resource management.
The four-day forum, held at Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley, was delivered by the Kimberley Land Council, which also facilitates Ranger Groups across the region.
The rangers were joined by a number of representatives from Australian Government, state agencies and non-government organisations including Rangelands NRM, who work with the Kimberley Ranger Program.
Rangelands NRM Kimberley Program Manager, Grey Mackay said the forum was a great opportunity to connect with all the different ranger groups throughout the Kimberley and learn about their country and their issues.
“The forum was also a great opportunity for the Rangers to share knowledge and learn practical skills through workshops and demonstrations from trailer experts, first aid instructors, butchers, carpenters and so on,” he said.
The training sessions were followed by an expo and workshop with stakeholders.
Mr Mackay said a highlight of the event was the ranger camp cook off.
“Kija rangers won the night with a delicious traditional kangaroo satay and ‘sugar bag’ (native honey)”.
He said Indigenous land and sea managers undertake a range of natural resource projects to improve and enhance the unique biodiversity and cultural values of the Kimberley region.
“Working with Indigenous rangers is a key way we engage with community to help manage natural resources,” he said.
Rangelands NRM is a strong supporter of the Kimberley Ranger Program and support several groups to undertake on-ground work with funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, including:
• Nyul Nyul, Bardi Jawi Rangers to protect the endangered Monsoon vine thicket
• Kija Rangers in fire work to protect habitat of the threatened Gouldian Finch
• Balanggarra Rangers in cane toad management
• Nyangumarta Rangers training and development
• Wunggurr Rangers with Weed and Fire management to protect Gouldian Finch Habitat
• Nyikina Mangala Rangers with Land Management projects.
1) Ranger expo at Shirley’s Block, Purnululu National Park.
2) Rangers taking a tour of Cathedral Gorge.