This week indigenous rangers from across the southern half of a Western Australia and the western half of South Australia are coming together at Ilkurlka for the inaugural Southern Deserts Ranger Forum.
Located more than 700 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie, the Pila Nguru elders and Spinifex Land management will be hosting almost 100 rangers and associated project staff from WA, NT and SA. The event is being organised by Spinifex Land Management and supported by the Indigenous Desert Alliance and the Ten Deserts Initiative.
Desert rangers are travelling vast distances to attend with rangers from
· Spinifex Land Management rangers (Tjuntjuntjara, WA)
· Maralinga Tjarutja rangers (Oak Valley, SA)
· APY Lands rangers (various communities, SA)
· Nadju Rangers (Norseman, WA)
· Birriliburu (Wiluna Martu, Wiluna, WA)
· Ngaanyatjara Rangers (Blackstone, WA)
· Yalata Rangers (Yalata, SA)
Goldfields Land & Sea Council rangers (Kalgoorlie)
participating in the program.
Rangers will be sharing stories with others about their jobs, both the successes and challenges, while also learning about the importance of planning, data management and using technology like drones and tablet devices.
Accredited compliance training and rifle safety will feature along with workshops on Buffel grass management, camels and large herbivore management and protecting sacred sites and threatened species.
'It will be good to see and learn about what the other groups do in their land management programs, they might do nganamara (mallee fowl) tracking in a different way or something else that we can do in a better way – and save money. We might do things in our way that is better than their way and they can learn from us” said Scott Baird, Spinifex Land Management Ranger for 3 years.
'This is the first meeting of its kind, where rangers from the southern deserts, managing an area the size of 1.2 million square kilometres are sharing knowledge and training together on country. Building collaboration, trust and friendships across these vast areas are critical for the success of indigenous ranger programs. It is hoped this will be the first of what will become regular through building on the success of this one' said Jimmy Cocking, Coordinator of the Ten Deserts Initiative.
The workshop is happening at the Ilkurlka Roadhouse and campground in the middle of the Great Victoria Desert from June 6-8.
Interviews can be pre-organised through calling the Ilkurlka Roadhouse to arrange a time from Monday.
The inaugural Southern Deserts Ranger Forum has been organised by Pila Nguru, Spinifex Land Management with the support of the Indigenous Desert Alliance, Ten Deserts Initiative with funding provided by the WA Government and Anglogold.