Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers. Photo by DBCA
Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers. Photo by DBCA

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. 

Funding Opportunities

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

Round 6 application form supporting documents  

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:    

Expansion Fund  

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: 



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.

Reference Group

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


Visit the Evaluating the Aboriginal Ranger Program page for information and reports about the social outcomes program.

Media Statements

Contact us

For additional information please contact:
Aboriginal Ranger Program Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9219 8223

    Page reviewed 05 May 2023