Aboriginal Women in the Midwest region have been making the news lately with their efforts to support conservation in their traditional country.
As part of the Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program, NACC has been collaborating with conservation organisation Bush Heritage Australia and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to provide Aboriginal women with experience in working on conservation and land management.
One of these experiences recently took place when NACC Aboriginal Program Coordinator Bianca McNeair, along with a group of fellow Malgana women, attended the annual DBCA Loggerhead Turtle Monitoring program in January at Dirk Hartog Island.
Dirk Hartog Island, known as Wirruwana to the Malgana people, is a DBCA managed reserve and important nesting ground for the endangered Loggerhead Turtles.
This particular Turtle Monitoring event was documented by local ABC-Midwest & Wheatbelt Producer Chris Lewis and then aired on ABC News on January 21. It also received a lot of attention on the ABC Midwest & Wheatbelt Facebook page. You can see the video here.
Another group of local Aboriginal women were also recently in the news – after participating in a Malleefowl monitoring program at Bush Heritage Australia’s Eurardy Reserve, north of Northampton.
The adventures and accomplishments of these Nanda women appeared in The Midwest Times under the very apt headline “On-country work strengthens sense of belonging”.
These stories have generated a lot of discussion and enthusiasm in the local Aboriginal community resulting in Bianca being in high demand to talk about the field excursions. Bianca was invited to speak on both Radio Mama and ABC Midwest & Wheatbelt radio stations.
“There is a lot of buzz around the activities that our women are doing at the moment and I can’t wait to share what we are planning next,” Bianca said.
“Aboriginal women have an instinctive and ancestral responsibility to nurture life.
“Opportunities like the Malleefowl monitoring and Turtle tagging programs provide us with a way to reconnect with that ancestral connection, while also gaining valuable experience in conservation and land management employment.
“We have some very strong women in our communities with a wealth of knowledge from their families, and they are ready to step-up and take-on their roles and responsibilities as environmental custodians.”