I have been a ranger with Warddeken Land Management since I was 16 years old and have lived on the country my rangers manage for my whole life. I have been working as a ranger now for fourteen years. My job as a ranger allows me to live on my country at Kabulwarnamyo Outstation and it gives me meaningful work.
I see my families and peers in bigger townships doing nothing, just getting sit down money and drinking their lives away. Maybe I would be doing this myself if I didn’t have my job as a ranger. I am raising my son on his own country now, just like I was raised, and every day I see him learning more and growing stronger. He is only three but he already wants to be a ranger too. I would like to share with you one message in particular: working as a ranger is about respect. Respect for our ancestors; for our elders; for our culture; for our country; for ourselves and for our children.
Respect is the key to Aboriginal people and our communities staying strong. I ask you please to continue funding the Working on Country and Indigenous Protected Areas programs, they have already made such a difference to our lives and we don’t know what our future will hold if the funding is cut. I am asking you this not just for our own ranger group, but also for other ranger groups across the country.
- Ray Nadjamerrek