The current Western Australian Aboriginal Ranger Program is a $66.5 million investment over five years from 2021–26 to help Aboriginal organisations manage country and protect the environment across the State, in partnership with the public and private sectors. Funding is available for jobs for Aboriginal rangers, training, and community development.
The program is led by Aboriginal people and administered by the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The program began in 2017, with $20 million invested into 35 ranger programs. By the end of 2021, it had delivered more than 800 jobs for Aboriginal people, as well as significant land and sea management outcomes. In 2021, the McGowan Government acknowledged the importance and success of the program and committed an additional $50 million to continue the project to 2025. Another $16.5 million was later added, bringing the total ‘phase 2’ commitment to $66.5 million over five years.
The Aboriginal Ranger Program sought to build on the existing work of Aboriginal ranger groups throughout the State, in recognition of the social, cultural and environmental benefits these programs were already producing.
The program helps Aboriginal organisations employ and train Aboriginal people as rangers, coordinators and other management and support staff to undertake land and sea management activities including:
- biodiversity monitoring and research
- traditional knowledge transfer
- fire management
- cultural site management
- feral animal and weed management
- cultural awareness for visitors
- guided welcome to country tours and/or talks for visitors
- management of visitors or tourists and tourism assets education programs and mentoring.
ARP Innovation Fund
Round 6 of the Aboriginal Ranger Program (ARP) Innovation Fund is now open.
In this round, up to $11 million is available for eligible Aboriginal organisations to submit applications that explore innovative ways of doing ranger business to maximise outcomes and benefits to Aboriginal ranger programs. Projects must align with at least one of the three themes: Empowerment; Protecting Country or Collaboration.
Information about this round is available in the Round 6 Innovation Fund Funding Guidelines and the Round 6 Addendum 1. Please read these guidelines carefully before starting an application.
Applications must be submitted via DBCA’s SmartyGrants portal no later than 11:59pm Friday 9 June 2023. Applications will not be accepted by email or post.
If you have any questions about this round, please email the ARP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Round 6 application form supporting documents
- Round 6 Innovation Fund Funding Guidelines
- Round 6 Addendum 1
- DBCA regions map
- Funding Agreement example - Word document
- Funding Agreement example - PDF document
- Project Plan example
- Progress Report Acquittal example
- Annual Report Acquittal example
ARP Development Fund
The Development Fund was created to provide support to new and emerging ranger programs, empowering Aboriginal organisations to build strong foundations for long term success.
Up to $13 million will be available via Round 7 – Development Fund, later in 2023 for projects starting in 2024.
To be notified when this and other rounds are opened, please register your interest here: https://forms.office.com/r/wetftK9AzT
The Expansion Fund was created to support established ranger programs as they grow their activities and develop longer-term career pathways for rangers.
The Expansion Fund was fully allocated in 2022. $22.8 million was distributed to 14 Aboriginal organisations, supporting over 100 ranger jobs for up to four years.
Grant writing workshop
To support ranger teams in the process of writing grant applications, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions offered a Grant Writing Essentials webinar via Zoom. Hosted by Tara Whitney from Whitney Consulting, the webinar was held on 3 August 2022 and gave participants an overview of best practise grant writing. You can watch the webinar here: https://youtu.be/YlL-dPvWlXg
In December 2022, $10 million was allocated under Round 5 of the Aboriginal Ranger Program, as part of the Development Fund. This funding was awarded in two categories:
- Small grants for planning and development
- Large grants for ranger operations
Round 5 recipients are listed below and shown on this map
|Applicant||Project Title||Region||Category||Funding allocated|
|Parna Ngururrpa Aboriginal Corporation||Ngururrpa Ranger Program||Central Desert||Large grant||$1,180,000 over three years|
|Malgana Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC||Pathway to a Malgana Country land and sea management program (Phase 3)||Geraldton||Large grant||$455,000 over one year|
|Tjiwarl Aboriginal Corporation||Tjiwarl Healthy Country Ranger Program||Goldfields||Large grant||$565,000 over one year|
|Kimberley Land Council||Kija Rangers||Kimberley||Large grant||
$1,360,000 over three years
|Balanggarra Ventures Limited||Balanggarra Rangers||Kimberley||Large grant||$940,000 over two years|
|Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation||Nyiyaparli Rangers||Pilbara||Large grant||$670,000 over three years|
|Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation Ranger Program||Caring for Country for 59,000 years||Pilbara||Large grant||$1,075,500 over three years|
|Nyamal Aboriginal Corporation (NAC)||Karuwayinya Cultural and Environmental Management Program||Pilbara||Large grant||$725,000 over three years|
|Maarli Services Pty Ltd||Eastern Wheatbelt Rangers||South West||Large grant||$740,000 over two years|
|Winjan Aboriginal Corporation||Winjan Bindjareb Boodja Ranger Program||South West||Large grant||$800,000 over two years|
|Binalup Aboriginal Corporation||Binalup Rangers||South West||Large grant||$950,000 over two years|
|Kulyakartu Aboriginal Corporation||Kulyakartu Ranger Team||Central Desert||Small grant||$97,600 over 10 months|
|Yugunga-Nya Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC||Yugunga-Nya Ranger Program Development Project||Geraldton||Small grant||$92,527 over 9 months|
|Robe River Kuruma Aboriginal Corporation||Jajiwurra Rangers – planning and development||Pilbara||Small grant||$100,000 over one year|
|Ngarlawangga Aboriginal Corporation||Ngarlawangga Healthy Country Plan||Pilbara||Small grant||
$99,400 over one year
|PKKP Aboriginal Corporation||PKKP Ranger Program||Pilbara||Small grant||$100,000 over one year|
|Wajarri Yamaji Aboriginal Corporation||Wajarri Byro Ranger Program||Geraldton||Small grant||$100,000 over one year|
Recipients of rounds 1 to 3 can be viewed on this map.
Recipients of round 4 can be viewed on this map.
An expert Reference Group has been established to assist DBCA on an ongoing basis to shape the design and roll-out of the second phase of the Aboriginal Ranger Program. The group’s Terms of Reference can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Members of the Reference Group were invited on the basis of their skills and practical knowledge of Aboriginal ranger programs, and were selected from across all regions of WA. Aboriginal and gender representation were also key considerations in forming the membership, and the group has committed to improving female representation in its membership over the next 12 months. Members of the Reference Group are listed below.
|Rhonda Murphy||Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions||Chair|
|Julie Melbourne||Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd||Kimberley|
|Talbot Muir||Tjiwarl Aborignal Corporation||Goldfields|
|Kevin Walley||Bundundea / Yulella||Mid-west|
|Les O'Neil||Malgana Aboriginal Corporation||Mid-west|
|Lindsey Langford||Indigenous Desert Alliance||Western Desert|
|Julie Hayden||Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation||Wheatbelt|
|Nerida Haynes||Terra Rosa Consulting/ Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation||Pilbara|
|Oscar Colbung||Southern Aboriginal Corporation||South coast|
|Helen Langley||Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation||Goldfields/Esperance|
|Francis Khan||Woolkabunning Kiaka Aboriginal Corporation||Southwest|
|Phoebe Martin||Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation||Kimberley|
|Brian Wall||Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation||Pilbara|
|Kane Watson||Northern Agricultural Catchments Council||Mid-west|
|Clinton Farmer||K Farmer Dutjahn Foundation Ltd||Central Desert|
|Stephen van Leeuwen||Curtin University||Stakeholder advisor|
|Peter Murray||Country Needs People||Stakeholder advisor|
|Stuart Bradfield||Desert Support Services||Stakeholder advisor|
|Justin McAllister||South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council||Stakeholder advisor|
The following agencies also have standing invitations for representatives to attend as observers:
- Minister for Environment office
- Minister for Aboriginal Affairs office
- Department of the Premier and Cabinet
- Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
- National Indigenous Australians Agency
- West Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council
- Tourism Western Australia
- Western Australian Local Government Association.
Members of the public are also able to contribute to the work of the Reference Group by using our online form to provide comments, suggestions and feedback for consideration.
To obtain a copy of the latest reference group minutes, please contact email@example.com.
Visit the Evaluating the Aboriginal Ranger Program page for information and reports about the social outcomes program.
- Round six of the Aboriginal Ranger Program is now open - Friday 14 April 2023
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 5 recipients announced - Wednesday 14 December 2022
- Round five of the Aboriginal Ranger Program now open - Friday, 1 July 2022
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 4 recipients announced - Wednesday, 29 June 2022
- 22 million dollar boost to Aboriginal Ranger Program as funding round opens(now closed) - Friday, 25 February 2022
- Expert advisory group to shape $50 million expanded Aboriginal Ranger Program - Friday, 4 February 2022
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round Three recipients announced - Sunday, 20 September 2020
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 3 applications open - 09 April 2020
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 2 recipients announced - 11 September 2019
- One month left to apply for Round 2 of the Aboriginal Ranger Program - Friday, 15 February 2019
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 2 applications open - Friday, 15 February 2019
- Funding for Aboriginal rangers delivered - Saturday, 10 February 2018
- Interest sought for Aboriginal Ranger Program - Saturday, 10 February 2018
For additional information please contact:
Aboriginal Ranger Program Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9219 8223