The new contracting arrangement means that rather than the Kimberley Land Council managing and employing the Ngurrara rangers, this will now be done by YAC as it continues on its journey to independence. YAC is the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) for the Ngurrara native title determinations.
KLC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Tyronne Garstone said the contract arrangement highlights the work KLC has been undertaking to build capacity in PBCs to manage business and take control of their futures.
He said the handover will occur in a staged process to ensure a smooth transition and the Ngurrara rangers will continue as strong members of the Kimberley Ranger Network.
“The KLC is very pleased to be supporting YAC to transition to full management of the Ngurrara ranger team,” Mr Garstone said.
“We have worked with the Ngurrara people for over two decades, from prior to the recognition of native title, to the Ngurrara people’s native title claims that were first made in 1996, to their consent determination in 2007, setting up the fantastic Ngurrara rangers and continuing to provide assistance to the YAC PBC.
“Now we are seeing YAC take on the responsibility of the ranger program, which highlights the professionalism and capacity of the corporation to manage its operations and shape its future.
“This is an exciting time for the KLC as we work to build the capacity of PBCs across the Kimberley.”
YAC CEO Peter Murray has an intricate understanding of the complexities of managing a ranger program, having worked as a ranger, ranger coordinator, Indigenous Protected Area coordinator and now the CEO of an Aboriginal corporation.
YAC Chairperson Marmingee Hand said the transition of the ranger operations will fulfil the vision of the old people to take control of their future and look after country.
“The rangers will now be working for the PBC, showcasing what we do,” Marmingee said. “We are embedding our cultural ways with western ideals and transferring our cultural knowledge.
“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the KLC and supporting one another.”
Elder Amy Nugget works as a cultural adviser, accompanying the Ngurrara rangers on country and assisting with traditional knowledge.
“It is very important working on country and caring for the jilas in the desert,” Amy said.
“I am really pleased with how well the rangers are working and I am so happy that in the future I would like to return to my homelands to continue this important work on country.”