About Rangers and IPAs

Around Australia, Indigenous rangers care for Country by managing environmental threats like massive destructive wildfires, feral animals and invasive weeds. Rangers also heal Country by protecting important cultural and natural sites, caring for threatened animals and restoring lost and degraded habitat. This work is underpinned by the federal Indigenous Ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs. 

These programs are well-recognised as having powerful social, economic, and environmental benefits for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians alike. Still, it’s a big job, and if it’s going to be done right, traditional owners need a lot more support. 

Currently, the Indigenous Ranger Program funds around 1,900 Indigenous rangers in 129 teams across Australia – many work in regional and remote areas.

The IPA program funds 78 IPAs covering over 78 million hectares of land and sea country. The growth of these programs is a success story that we can all be proud of, but we know a lot more is needed if we want to care for Country properly into the future. 

Threats to Country are getting worse, but with sustained long-term funding, Indigenous rangers and Indigenous protected areas can turn things around. That’s why Country Needs People is calling on all political parties and candidates to commit to: 

  1. Double the number of Indigenous rangers over 10 years.
  2. Create a fund for ranger training, capacity building, networking, and infrastructure costs.
  3. Double the funding for the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program over four years. 
  4. Ensure equal employment opportunities for women rangers by 2030.

 

Picture: Dean Wungundin, Wilinggin ranger. Credit: Annette Ruzicka