Message from Warddeken Ranger, Ray

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

Message from Warddeken Ranger, Elizabeth

My name is Elizabeth Nabarlambarl from the Djordi clan and I would like to share my experience as a woman working as a ranger for Warddeken Land Management in the Stone Country of West Arnhem Land, NT. Working as a ranger with support from IPA and WoC has allowed me to use customary Aboriginal knowledge on a day-to-day basis, and our people desperately need to practice these fragile cultural practices that are about to disappear.

Once they are gone they will be lost forever, however through ranger work we have an ongoing chance to prevent this. In the past things have not been so good. There has been no meaningful work and not enough money to buy food. We didn't have enough money on unemployment benefits and it also made us feel no good in our hearts. But now we are working with Warddeken and we can make a living earning money by living on our own land and looking after it - we have been lucky that with support from the government we have made this a job; learning properly from our old people and working in land management. We are working as rangers, making a living and earning money, and teaching our culture to children.

This makes us feel good, strong and proud. I think that things are looking up. Every year it is getting sweeter and sweeter. Warddeken rangers are now looking after country and we are seeing things improve, for the country and for the communities. Please continue to fund these programs that bring happiness, strength and meaning to our lives. Please do this not just for us at Warddeken, but also for other Aboriginal people across the country.

- Elizabeth Nabarlambarl

Message from Warddeken Ranger, Terrah

I would like to share with you my own story about how the Working on Country and Indigenous Protected Area programs have changed my life, and the lives of my family and community, for the better.

Ranger programs are a foundation that gives us the facility to deal with new and difficult knowledge from the outside world. Our country sees us and we put our scent on it; the essence of each individual goes into that place. This is our thinking, our way. That's what our old people tell us.

Working as a ranger brings a sense of identity to us as Aboriginal people, which allows us to be healthier in body, mind and spirit.
All the techniques of how to live in our country, which is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Australia, have been left for us to use by our old people. Through our ranger program we have added this customary knowledge to what non-Aboriginal people know about managing land.

We put our elders knowledge into managing our IPA, whether it be things such as fire management, cultural rock art recording, monitoring native animal species and reducing the impact of feral animals and weeds. Our old people walked everywhere caring for country and now as rangers we are doing the same thing.

This program of land management is a movement, and I think the government should be proud of the way they have supported us to undertake this movement. They trusted us and believed in the IPA and WoC programs and I think we have done a great job of producing the outcomes they wanted - for our own people and for the rest of the Australian people.

It would be a terrible shame to see this growing movement, one that is lifting our people up, stopped if funding is not continued into the future. Ranger programs are a movement that could continue to grow if more funding was committed and I know it would help other communities grow to be strong like ours has.

I hope you take the time to listen to our stories. We would also like to extend an invitation to both of you to visit us in the Stone Country of West Arnhem Land one day, to see for yourselves the positive impact ranger programs have on country, culture and communities.

- Terrah Diliyoung Guymala



Please take action now by adding your voice to the petition.


    Around the country, Indigenous rangers are protecting nature and transforming lives.

    These programs should grow and their future should be secured for the long term.

    Join more than 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations, and more than 40 000 fellow Australians in supporting the call for more Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas.

    Together, our voices are influencing the Government to set long term contracts and more Indigenous ranger jobs.

    This message will be sent to Indigenous Affairs Minister Scullion, Environment Minister Frydenberg, Your Senators and Your Local MP

    Dear <your local MP's name will be automatically entered>,

    Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas are working.

    Around the country, Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas use a unique mix of traditional knowledge and modern science to protect the Outback and sustain our native plants and animals. Rangers are combatting feral animals and the spread of damaging weeds, managing wildfires, protecting cultural sites, maintaining sustainable tourism opportunities and supporting research. But Australia is a vast country, and more effort and support is needed to ensure many millions of hectares of land and sea gets the management it needs.

    As well as protecting nature, these programs support cultural strength, create jobs for people to support their families, open up new opportunities for men and women, young and old, and create genuine and positive partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

    Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas are producing environmental, economic and social outcomes for the benefit of all Australians.

    These programs should grow and their future should be secured for the long term. I ask you to support the call to double funding and secure long term contracts for Indigenous rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas, and set a long term target of 5000 Indigenous land and sea management jobs.

    Yours sincerely,
    <your name will be inserted here>

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