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

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.


Funding Opportunities

ARP Expansion Fund 

There are currently no funding rounds open under this funding stream. If you would like to be notified when funding announcements are made, please register your interest here:

ARP Development Fund 

There are currently no funding rounds open under this funding stream. 

Up to $14 million will be available under the Development Fund to support a new or emerging ranger groups, with the first opportunities for funding being made available later in 2022. If you would like to be notified when funding announcements are made, please register your interest:   

ARP Innovation Fund 

More information about this funding stream will be made available later this year. 

For any specific enquiries, please contact the ARP team at  

If you would like to be notified when funding announcements are made, please register your interest here:


Aboriginal Ranger Program – Evaluation

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.

Aboriginal Ranger Program  Case study, funding recipients and outcomes

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





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

Contact us

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



    Page reviewed 19 Apr 2022