THE LOWDOWN - NT, QLD & the Healing Power of Country

Published: 13 Jun 2024

Tiwi Ranger Stanley Tipungwuti, Northern Territory. Photo: Annette Ruzicka.

The year is zipping past pretty quickly. Our partners down south are into the colder winter months, while the desert and North Australia mob are starting to enjoy the lovely dry season. At Country Needs People we’ve been busy as usual. This last quarter has seen us working with Indigenous Rangers and Traditional Owners across Far North Queensland, the Top End, the Pilbara and into NSW with the Gamay Rangers in La Perouse, and the Walbunja Rangers on the south coast. We’ve been providing strategic help to different groups with organisational setup, governance and country planning, and working with Indigenous partners to amplify the great value of their work on Country to decision makers in state and federal governments, Australia-wide. Our small team has been keeping busy. 


On Location with Jabalbina Yalanji Rangers and Photographer Annette Ruzicka and Country Needs People's Bettina Richter in the Daintree. Photo: Annette Ruzicka.


A picture tells a thousand words so where our partners are keen and we are able we like to get out and document the work Rangers are doing - sharing stories and raising awareness of the important work looking after Country - through video and still images.

Traditional Owners have been managing land and sea Country for millennia. But now, there is a lot at stake here for our collective future. Nature is not finite, and we are seeing continually across the world humanity’s dire impact on the environment. We can work together to better protect our shared home and the flora and fauna that have evolved here. We think community-based, Indigenous-led land and sea management has a central role to play in the future of our environment and brings multiple benefits. As Budj Bim Ranger Aaron Morgan says in the trailer of our upcoming documentary Keeping Country Strong - ‘When I’m out here, it heals me, and my job is to heal Country’.



Indigenous Land and Sea Management is really delivering for communities and Country. It’s about jobs, but more than jobs alone. It’s improving quality of life, building pride, wellbeing, and maintaining an active connection to Country and culture. When we invest in and get behind people committed to caring for Country, great things can be achieved.

Recently we’ve been in the Queensland Parliament with several of our Queensland Indigenous partners speaking directly to politicians across the spectrum about the value of strengthening the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program further.


Queensland Indigenous Rangers and Traditional Owners at Queensland Parliament House, Brisbane, May 2024. Photo: Glenn Hunt.


We are also turning our eyes to the Northern Territory with their upcoming election in August. Country Needs People advocated successfully for an NT Aboriginal Ranger Grants program in 2016 and again in 2020. The current NT Government has delivered solid support through these grants to many groups and projects throughout the Territory over the last 8 years.

It’s now time for all NT parties and candidates to make clear statements on future funding of the Aboriginal Ranger Grants program for the next four years. We always give credit where credit is due, but we never let any pollies or governments off the hook when we know they can do more for Indigenous land and sea management, because that benefits every Australian.  


Tiwi Rangers James Desantis and Chris Long on Country. Photo: Annette Ruzicka.


As always, we’re super grateful for your support. Please keep following our social media and taking our action and signing our petitions. Thanks also to our generous donors. We need you all - and together we can keep the positive outcomes coming.


Paddy O’Leary

CEO, Country Needs People