The cornerstone of Ranger Parks are local Indigenous rangers, working alongside Traditional Owners whose cultural practices have cared for WA’s Outback for over 50,000 years.
Indigenous rangers are uniquely suited for management of the new national park network. Indigenous ranger teams bring a deep, cultural commitment to their country and can combine traditional knowledge with modern science to care for country on a large scale.
Rangers undertake difficult but vital work caring for nature and tackling the pressing challenges of damaging wildfires, uncontrolled feral animals and noxious weeds. Not only are they successfully protecting and managing our shared natural heritage but they also transform remote communities and offer hope to younger Aboriginal people. Ranger programs offer real jobs and opportunities for sustainable economic independence in remote areas where jobs are often hardest to find.
Unfortunately, Indigenous ranger programs remain few and far between, and those that do exist are often funded for only short periods of time. Creating Ranger Parks would provide the opportunity for Traditional Owner groups in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of WA to establish Indigenous ranger programs with a long-term outlook, committed to continuing care and management of the future national parks.
Many of these groups are already actively seeking ways to establish Indigenous ranger programs, keen to not only create a bright future for their youth, but to ensure that cultural knowledge of country is passed on through the generations.