About Rangers and Indigenous Land and Sea Management

Across South Australia, traditional owners work to care for Country by looking after heritage sites, protecting threatened species and managing environmental threats like destructive wildfires, feral animals and invasive weeds.

The work of Indigenous land and sea management programs like Indigenous rangers are well-known for having huge social, economic and environmental benefits, particularly for remote and regional communities. They are successful because they are aligned strongly with Indigenous people’s cultural aspirations and obligations to look after Country.

Despite this, and unlike other states including Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, South Australia does not fund Aboriginal ranger teams directly or have any program that solely supports Indigenous land and sea management.

Most Indigenous land and sea management in South Australia is funded by the Federal Government through the Indigenous Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs. Twelve Indigenous Ranger teams and 10 Indigenous Protected Areas are funded by those programs in SA, covering nearly 5.8 million hectares.

Threats to Country are increasing, and traditional owners in South Australia could do more to care for Country with support from their state government. That’s why Country Needs People is calling on all South Australian politicians and candidates to commit to: 

  1. Developing a Looking after Country strategy for South Australia
  2. Establishing a SA Aboriginal Ranger Program to protect South Australia’s cultural and environmental leadership and provide up to 50 full-time equivalent jobs for Aboriginal people
  3. Investing $8 million over four years in a Looking after Country Project Fund
  4. Establishing an annual $750,000 Indigenous land and sea management small-grants program to support new and emerging groups.