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New Torres Strait restoration project marks ten years of Mabuygiw Rangers

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Working to protect and preserve the iconic sandy landscape of the Torres Strait Islands for a decade, the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Mabuygiw Rangers have celebrated their ten-year anniversary by launching a new project restoring the heritage site of Dabangay on Mabuyag.

Dadangay village on Mabuyag is an incredibly scared and historical site which has been occupied by the Panay Clan group for over 7,200 years.

The site is being restored by the Mabuygiw Rangers who are working with Goelmulgal (Mabuyag) Traditional Owners.

The Mabuyag community launched phase one of the Dabangay Restoration Project in September, made possible through collaboration between TSRA Land and Sea Management (LSMU) Rangers, Traditional Owners, Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and service provider My Pathway.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the event was the perfect time to celebrate both the anniversary and the launch.

"The launch of the Dabangay Restoration Project in September along with the tenth anniversary, was an ideal way for us to reflect on what the Ranger program has achieved so far and will continue to achieve in the future," Mr Stephen said.

The Mabuygiw Rangers were established in 2009 and were the first Ranger group in the Torres Strait with three Rangers employed. Today, the Mabuygiw Rangers employ over 60 staff.

"The Rangers continue to play a critical role for our region in land and sea management by protecting, restoring and managing important elements of natural and built environments and will do so for many more years to come," Mr Stephen said.

"We believe it is important that we celebrate these milestones for the Ranger teams, our partners and the communities they support as we explore new opportunities to maintain our culture and environment."

The Dabangay Restoration Project is split into two stages. The first stage includes fencing and restoring the Coming of the Light monument, improving the pathway to Dabangay and the installation of three tables for the use of Traditional Owners along with solar lights and signage.

The second stage will see shelters installed at the Dabangay village site for community and visitor use.

The Mabuygiw Rangers have said they would like to acknowledge the Goelmulgal (Mabuyag) Traditional Owners, the TSRA Land and Sea Management (LSMU) Rangers, My Pathway, Paul Ware contractors and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC).

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