Aboriginal Ranger Program

The Local Land Services Aboriginal Ranger Program was launched in July 2022 and is being delivered across the Central West, Murray, Riverina and North West Local Land Services regions.

The program is designed to improve Aboriginal people’s connection to Country and provide meaningful career pathways through formal training and implementing learnings across the region.

The objectives of the Aboriginal Ranger Program are to:

  • Provide relevant training and on the job experience for Aboriginal people in a culturally safe workplace
  • Enhance Local Land Services’ organisational growth through the delivery of Local Land Services Aboriginal Engagement Strategy
  • Acknowledge, value and embed Aboriginal cultural knowledge and world views in program delivery and business as usual activities
  • Respect Aboriginal people’s rights, obligations and roles as Traditional Custodians of the land, sea and waterways
  • Promote and strengthen connections to culture and identity
  • Prioritise economic independence for Aboriginal people through increased employment and enterprise development
  • Establish and maintain meaningful ongoing relationships with Aboriginal people and Country
  • Recognise appropriate engagement and connection with Aboriginal people and Country as core to our service delivery
  • Provide mentoring and coaching support that is culturally appropriate to enhance learning and work skill development
  • Champion opportunities for Aboriginal people and communities to care for Country and incorporate contemporary land management practices.

The Local Land Services Aboriginal Ranger Program was launched in July 2022 and is being delivered across the Central West, Murray, Riverina and North West Local Land Services (LLS) regions. (link regions to anchor sections below)  The program is designed to enhance Aboriginal people’s connection to Country and provide meaningful career pathways through formal training and implementing learnings across the LLS region.   The objectives of the Aboriginal Ranger Program are to:  1.Provide relevant training and on the job experience for Aboriginal people in a culturally safe workplace. 2.Enhance Local Land Services’ organisational growth through the enactments of the Local Land Services Aboriginal Engagement Strategy: a.Acknowledge, value and embed Aboriginal cultural knowledge and world views in program delivery and business as usual. b.Respect Aboriginal people’s rights, obligations and roles as Traditional Custodians of the land, sea and waterways. c.Promote and strengthen connections to culture and identity. Prioritise economic independence for Aboriginal people through increased employment and enterprise development. d.Establish and maintain meaningful ongoing relationships with Aboriginal people and Country. e.Recognise appropriate engagement and connection with Aboriginal people and Country as core to our service delivery. 3.Provide mentoring and coaching support that is culturally appropriate to enhance learning and work skill development. 4.Champion opportunities for Aboriginal people and communities to care for Country and enhance contemporary land management practices.

Image: 2022 induction of Aboriginal Rangers at Lake Burrendong.

Updates from the Aboriginal Ranger Trainee program - September 2023

Central West

Central West Local Land Services Aboriginal Ranger trainees have been putting their knowledge into practice on a reserve close to Coonabarabran with high biodiversity and strong Aboriginal cultural values. The reserve is being transformed into a meeting place for the community and outdoor space for practicing traditional Aboriginal customs.

The site is open to pedestrian access with low impact recreation encouraged, including bushwalking and cycling.

Image: Rangers Jamie and Jayon at the site where they learned erosion control methods as part of their certification.

The Aboriginal Ranger Program has upskilled trainees giving them qualifications and experience through:

  • Completing a Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management to transform the reserve into a meeting place for people to learn the ways of the “mob”
  • Creating areas for traditional men’s business and women’s business with dancing circles and yarning circles
  • Removing rubbish and improving the roads
  • Cultural burns and continuation of managing pests and weeds on the site
  • Completing walking tracks in preparation for installing signage to help educate the community about what they are seeing and Aboriginal cultural practices.

Murray

The team in Deniliquin has located an Aboriginal burial site along a local travelling stock reserve. The team is now working to fence the site to minimise damage caused by travelling stock and vehicles, and to keep the site free of rubbish and unwanted debris. Being of high cultural significance, the team is working to ensure that cultural integrity is maintained.

Other works in the Murray region include:

  • Managing flora and pest animals on travelling stock reserves
  • Working with local landholders to help them better manage and deal with pests and weeds, while also maintaining fences on stock reserves
  • Managing drovers and their cattle while they are on travelling stock reserves, including maintaining cattle holding yards and making sure there is a secure water source for them while they are travelling through the area.

North West

The Tamworth team has been working on the Rocky Waterhole travelling stock reserve, located south of Tamworth on Timbumburi Creek.

The travelling stock reserve has been classified as low conservation value. It consists of a river red gum, Blakely’s red gum and rough barked apple plant community which is primarily in a riparian zone. Some creek banks are actively eroding and large rock outcrops are located within the creek. Chilean needle grass is a key weed species for which a control program is in place.

Work will focus on supporting natural revegetation post flooding.

The travelling stock reserve has significant unauthorised use, particularly from off road vehicles which damage vegetation, disturb the soil and create dangers for passive recreation.  Access has now been restricted via a combination lock on the vehicle access gate.

Rocky Waterhole is a permanent waterhole that was used extensively by local Aboriginal people pre European settlement. There is strong interest in the site for cultural awareness and education purposes from several sectors of the Indigenous community in Tamworth. The team is working to ensure the cultural significance of the site is protected.

Recently the Aboriginal Ranger Program conducted a cultural burn on Rocky Water Hole reserve as part of the Aboriginal Rangers Cert III training.

The below video gives you an overview of the cultural burning training and describes what it means to the Local Land Services Aboriginal Rangers.

Read more about the transformations that have been made through the Aboriginal Ranger Program so far.

Riverina

The Narrandera team is situated within the Riverina region of Local Land Services.  Since the conception of the Aboriginal Ranger Program, the team has been working on the maintenance and improvement of travelling stock reserves throughout the region. This includes fencing, weeding and cultural burns. Team members have developed their confidence, knowledge, leadership and skillsets.

They are working strongly with the Cultural Burn team, in partnership with the Australian National University to evaluate pre, during and post burn results in vegetation, wildlife and regeneration.

The team has also been assisting NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service with the installation and configuration of song meters upstream and downstream of Narrandera to determine koala movements. Song meters are a microphone used to hear wildlife, helping to identify koalas in the area that may be breeding.

Through these activities the team has strengthened communication and relationships with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Crown Lands and landholders.

More about the program

Read more about the Aboriginal Ranger Program by viewing this PDF.

Contact

Jas Reid, Aboriginal Ranger Program Manager

E: jas.reid@lls.nsw.gov.au

M: 0473 876 939

The program is part of the commitment by Local Land Services and the broader Department of Regional NSW to champion opportunities for Aboriginal people that offers experience, exposure and development and strengthens the ability to offer a career pathway to young Aboriginal people.

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