In collaboration with key partners and the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NACC’s Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program was launched in September 2017. This program is providing opportunities for Aboriginal people across the Mid West region to engage in Natural Resource Management (NRM) activities while delivering on-ground conservation with a strong cultural emphasis on Caring for Country.
Who is involved?
Main Partners: Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, Western Mulga Pty Ltd, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), and Kwelena Mambakort Wedge Island Aboriginal Corporation (KMAC).
Supporting Partners: Bush Heritage Aust., Rangelands NRM, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Ninghan IPA, Central Regional TAFE and local Indigenous organisations and communities.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been instrumental in establishing this Program through an Indigenous Advancement Strategy community-led grant worth $1.5 million. Based off the initial success the program was continued, with funding now secured through to 2028. The Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program is also supported by a dedicated Reference Group, which brings together Traditional Custodians from across the region to provide advice and guidance.
The Midwest Aboriginal Ranger Program offers employment and training placement for rangers and ranger-teams through three program-delivery organisations: Western Mulga, DBCA and KMAC.
The Western Mulga team is comprises of Aboriginal Rangers working in the Midwest region on a range of land conservation activities, including maintenance of natural water sources, native vegetation rehabilitation, invasive weed and pest management and heritage site management.
DBCA employs two Aboriginal Rangers in Geraldton and two in Jurien Bay. Some of their work will take place in marine parks and terrestrial conservation estate, they conducting works on threatened flora and fauna as well as community engagement.
KMAC employs a team of trainee Yued Rangers in the south of the region. Working with Elders and other conservation partners, this team supports important conservation work of Heritage Sites and monitoring of both marine and terrestrial biodiversity. All Rangers undertake Conservation and Ecosystem Management studies through service providers such as Central Regional TAFE.
Each Ranger team supports and engages in important conservation work across a range of activities including environmental monitoring, surveys such as pit-fall trapping and malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) mound monitoring.
Traditional Custodians from across the region were consulted during the development of the Program, and will continue to guide on-ground works and oversee the inclusion of cultural practices such as Welcome to Country ceremonies and the management of sites of significance.
Why is it important to have Aboriginal Rangers?
For thousands of years the Yamaji and Noongar Aboriginal peoples have been gathering knowledge of the environment across the Mid West of Western Australia.
Their traditional ecological knowledge is extremely valuable in enhancing the ways we understand and care for our environment. The Ranger Program recognises the unique understandings and management skills Aboriginal peoples have in supporting our natural resources, and is thrilled to be supporting Traditional Custodians to deliver economic, environmental, social and cultural outcomes.
MARP is an important step towards providing meaningful employment on-Country for future generations of Aboriginal people.
For more information about this project please contact NACC NRM’s Aboriginal Custodianship Program Coordinator Priscilla Papertalk at:
(P) 9938 0100 (M) 0447 582 922 (E) firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is supported by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council with funding from the Australian Government’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.