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Kija Rangers host 2015 Kimberley Ranger Forum at Purnululu

Sep 01, 2015

More than 250 land and sea managers attended the fifth annual Kimberley Ranger Forum networking and training event at Purnululu.

Aboriginal rangers from about 14 different groups from across the Kimberley and Northern Territory attended the three-day event alongside cultural advisers and elders.

The Kija Rangers hosted the forum which focused on professional development and networking and included workshops on fire management, CyberTracker technology, music sessions, drugs and ice addiction, suicide prevention and mental health, social media, first-aid training, building and construction and trailer mechanics.

Kija Ranger Imran Paddy said his team were excited to host the event at Kawaree at Purnululu in the east Kimberley as it was the first time many rangers had visited that area.

“It was fun and we had a really good atmosphere because there were lots of people there, about 250 rangers including a group from Arnhem Land in the NT. It was really good to see those guys and it was great they travelled all that way to come to the forum,’’ he said.

“It was really good to host the event and everyone liked the view of the Bungles in the background, especially in the afternoon when the sun shone on them.

“It was the first time most of the rangers had been here, so it was great to show them around and we took them fishing and swimming and on tours to Cathedral Gorge.

It was nice to catch up with old friends and meet lots of new ones.’’

Imran said winning the coveted camp oven cook off, where ranger groups compete for the best dish cooked in a camp oven, was a highlight of the event.

“Our wining dish was kangaroo kebabs marinated in sugarbag bush honey. The original plan was for it to be in plum sauce but we forgot to bring it, so with some quick thinking we got the sugarbag and used that. It was a risky move but it worked out really well,’’ he said.

The event also included a ranger quiz, open mic night, ranger expo, a ranger video night and dancing. Since the first Kimberley Ranger Forum at Home Valley Station in 2010, the event continues to grow to cater for an increase in participants and include a wide variety of specialised skill development and training.