The government recognises the social, cultural and environmental benefits of Aboriginal ranger programs and is aware of the excellent work that has already been undertaken by established Aboriginal ranger groups throughout the State. Such programs have provided an integral step towards improved community wellbeing and reducing poverty through economic opportunities and building leadership in remote and regional communities.
Led by the Aboriginal community and Aboriginal organisations with support from the Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and across government, the program is helping Aboriginal organisations manage country and protect the environment across WA in partnership with the public and private sectors. Funding is available for jobs for Aboriginal rangers, training, and community development.
Since its commencement in 2017-18, the program has continued to train and employ Aboriginal people as rangers 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 and immersion experiences for visitors
- guided welcome to country tours and/or talks for visitors
- management of visitors or tourists and tourism assets education programs and mentoring.
The Aboriginal Ranger Program is an initiative of the McGowan Government that was launched in 2017 with a commitment of $20 million Royalties for Regions funding over five years.
The program provides grants to Aboriginal organisations for discrete projects aimed at generating new training, employment, community development or capacity building opportunities related to land and sea management, including tourism-related projects. Education, training, and employment of women are key components of the program.
To evaluate the social outcomes of the Program, DBCA social scientists Dr Amanda Smith and Dr Kate Rodger, have been undertaking a scientific qualitative case study analysis. Preliminary fieldwork, including interviews and participant observation, have been undertaken with case studies involving three projects and five ranger groups. These are:
- Karajarri-Ngurrara Desert Fire and Biodiversity project, which involves two ranger groups – Karajarri Rangers based out of Bidyadanga and Ngurrara Rangers based out of Fitzroy Crossing.
- Dampier Peninsula Women Rangers Monsoon Vine Thicket Recovery Program, which involves two women ranger groups – Nyul Nyul Rangers based out of Beagle Bay and Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers based at Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) on the Dampier Peninsula.
- Esperance Tjaltjraak Emerging Ranger Program – Affirming Connection to Our Country, Our Boodja based in Esperance.
DBCA’s evaluation of three case study ranger projects are highlighting the positive impacts of ranger programs. Preliminary results from the ongoing study indicate that the Aboriginal Ranger Program assists in capacity building for ranger groups, creates significant social, cultural and economic benefits, and contributes to improved community wellbeing and resilience through building leadership skills and enabling partnerships with private sector organisations.
“Today’s ranger program is continuing the aspirations of the old people for looking after and caring for country and done in a way that the cultural values are embedded and protected. The ranger program is an opportunity for young rangers to learn more about the culture and go out places that they only hear about.” Elder, Esperance Tjaltjraak.
For additional information about the program evaluation please contact:
Social Science Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9219 8225
Karajarri Case Study - Capacity Building and Personal Development
Tjaltjraak Case Study - Healing Country and Connection to Family
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round Three recipients announced
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 3 applications open
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 2 recipients announced
- One month left to apply for Round 2 of the Aboriginal Ranger Program
- Aboriginal Ranger Program Round 2 applications open
- Funding for Aboriginal rangers delivered
- Interest sought for Aboriginal Ranger Program
For additional information please contact:
Aboriginal Ranger Program Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9219 8223