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National ad campaign launches in Darwin

TV, billboard, newspaper and online advertising in Darwin will focus on the evidence that the work of Indigenous rangers is transforming lives and protecting the natural environment.

Promoting genuine cross cultural knowledge, passion and a beautiful country are the most important reasons Indigenous ranger jobs should be doubled, according to senior Warddeken ranger and fire ecologist Dean Yibarbuk.

Yibarbuk joined Indigenous rangers from the Top End and across Australia who were launching a national campaign to persuade the federal government in the lead up the budget to significantly grow the successful ranger and Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) programs.

“Ranger programs have started so much in our community – they gave people jobs and promoted culture, and they’ve given us the launching pad to open a school on country,” he said.

Starting Saturday in Darwin, TV, billboard, newspaper and online advertising will focus on the evidence that the work of Indigenous rangers is transforming lives and protecting the natural environment.

Warddeken Aboriginal Corporation is one of 23 ranger and Traditional Owner groups that have formed a campaign– called Country Needs People - to urge the federal government to double funding and so double jobs for the successful programs by 2020 and secure funding into the long term..

The Pew Charitable Trusts is also a partner of the Country Needs People alliance and spokesperson Patrick O’Leary highlighted that the Northern Territory is a key focus for the campaign in part because it is a pioneering region for Indigenous land and sea management programs and like much of remote Australia has globally important environmental and cultural values.

“Indigenous ranger groups and Indigenous Protected Areas in the Territory have really lead the way for nationwide adoption of these hugely successful programs,” he said.

The Northern Territory is home to Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and prominent Indigenous Senator Nova Peris, making it a focus for the Country Needs People campaign.