Over 200 people created a giant community dot painting at Hyde Park in Perth on the weekend, expressing their support for an exciting initiative for new national parks in WA’s Outback.
The painting, led by Indigenous artist Neta Knapp from Urban Indigenous, was a show of support for ‘Create Ranger Parks’, a community based initiative to create a major network of new national parks, managed by Indigenous rangers, for all Western Australians to enjoy.
The painting will be presented as a gift to the MP for Mt Lawley following the March 11 election.
Artist Neta Knapp with local resident Monica at the painting event.
Local resident Monica La Ferrara took part in the painting to show her support for the Create Ranger Parks plan.
“Art and nature connects us all,” Ms Ferrara said. “Getting in contact with the land is very important, which is what the Create Ranger Parks plan will allow.”
Under the Create Ranger Parks initiative, five million hectares – that’s an area twice the size of the South West – of former pastoral stations in WA’s Outback, purchased by government for conservation 20 years ago, would become national parks.
An important part of ‘Create Ranger Parks’ is that the new national parks be managed by Aboriginal rangers, which would create hundreds of new jobs. Indigenous ranger programs elsewhere in Australia are a proven success story and have been transformative for remote communities, providing real jobs in areas where employment is often hard to come by.
The proposal is backed by diverse group of organisations, including Reconciliation WA, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, the Conservation Council of WA, four-wheel drive peak body Track Care WA, Birdlife Australia and Indigenous organisations local to the proposed parks.
The Member for Mount Lawley, Michael Sutherland, and WA Labor candidate Simon Millman attended the event and also received a copy of ‘WA’s biggest postcard’. The giant postcard is signed by 120 Mount Lawley residents, urging Mr Sutherland and Mr Millman to support the Create Ranger Parks initiative.
Mount Lawley locals Monica, Antoine, Bryn, Pria and Caroline with 'WA's biggest postcard' in support of Create Ranger Parks.
Other candidates in attendance were Laine McDonald, MLC for the North Metropolitan region, and Greens candidates Matt Roberts (Mount Lawley) and Hannah Milligan (Perth).
Local resident Bryn Hansson also took part in the painting and helped deliver 'WA's biggest postcard’ to Mr Sutherland and Mr Millman.
“Increasing job opportunities in remote Indigenous communities as well as creating new national parks that tourists can visit is a win-win for me,” Mr Hansson said.
See an album of photos from the event on Facebook.