Biggest ranger forum ever
Celebrating everything it means to be an Indigenous ranger at the Kimberley Ranger Forum.
Indigenous rangers travelled thousands of kilometres from locations all across northern Australia for a massive ranger gathering in the Kimberley.
Held at Gurrbalgun (Pender Bay) on Bardi country, the three-day Kimberley Ranger Forum was a celebration of everything it means to be an Indigenous ranger and the vital role they play protecting the environment and maintaining culture.
Hosted by the Kimberley Land Council, in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Kimberley Ranger Forum had a focus on biosecurity, with Indigenous rangers playing an ever increasing role as the eyes and ears of the remote north.
Kimberley Land Council Chief Executive Officer Nolan Hunter said 60 different Indigenous ranger groups and a total of 400 people attended the forum.
“Aboriginal people have a strong spiritual connection to country, a customary obligation and a responsibility to care for the land,” Mr Hunter said.
“The success of the Indigenous ranger program is based on its strong link to people’s cultural values and their native title rights and interests.
“For over a decade Indigenous rangers have cared for country and culture. Now, more than ever, their work is having an impact, not only in their own communities, but all over Australia.”
Bardi Jawi ranger Azton Howard conducts biosecurity work along the Dampier Peninsula coastline, checking the water for debris, and surveying plant and animal health.
“Timber, insects, floats, wreckage from boats, goods cast overboard and a huge amount of plastics have been removed from the Kimberley coast thanks to this work,” Azton said.
“This is helping to keep our country and the rest of Australia healthy and protected from diseases and pests.
“We are the eyes and ears of the north and without Indigenous rangers this work could not and would not occur.”
Gurrbalgun Traditional Owner and Senior Bardi Jawi ranger Kevin George said it was honour to host such an amazing gathering of rangers.
“Our hearts are happy,” Kevin said.
The KLC would like to extend a big thanks to everyone who attended for their amazing participation.