Jessica Mauboy’s deadly rendition of the national anthem, sung in language by the Darwin singer, draws a spotlight on the need to celebrate and promote Indigenous culture.
So much was done in the past to wipe Australian Indigenous languages from the collective memory so to see Jessica Mauboy’s version is to celebrate the survival of Indigenous language.
It also serves as a reminder of the urgent need to preserve Indigenous culture.
Indigenous ranger programs are doing just that. These are highly-skilled, professional land managers, working in Indigenous Protected Areas and traditional lands across Australia. Indigenous rangers use traditional practices and modern science to protect, nurture and restore the landscape. They are trained fire managers, and they work to eradicate feral animals and invasive weeds. They monitor threatened and endangered species and they restore native wildlife habitat.
They are also a demonstration of the indelible link between Indigenous people and their traditional country. Over 80 per cent of ranger groups are involved in specific cultural activities. Significant sites such as rock art, waterholes, fish traps and burial sites are managed, traditional knowledge and stories are recorded, and cultural heritage information is shared.
We need your help to secure and expand the future of Indigenous ranger programs across Australia. Federal funding for ranger groups and Indigenous Protected Areas is only in place until 2018. We want to see funding doubled and the number of rangers on the ground increased significantly.