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Martu ranger Yuddiy recognised among world's best at International awards ceremony

Tamati Smith -

Martu man Ben "Yuddiy" Brown has been named one of the world's leading rangers by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature who held an awards ceremony in Kigali the capital of Rwanda, Africa.

The IUCN International Ranger award was given to 12 different rangers or ranger teams from countries such as India, Mexico and our own Martu Indigneous First Nations groups.

Each ranger or team was awarded $10,000USD to help support the area in which they work.

Yuddiy is a Martu man from WA's Western Deserts region who is believed to be one of the last babies to be born out on Country in the area, giving him a strong connection to Martu lands.

Yuddiy now works alongside the Department of Parks and Wildlife as a Ranger Lead in WA's Goldfields region.

The award he received was for the work he does out on the Pila Nature Reserve (formerly the Gibson Desert Reserve).

In this ranger position Yuddiy's tasks include conducting fire management, track maintenance and protection of cultural sites which includes maintaining and cleaning of watering holes and supporting Warnpuru Aboriginal Corporation Rangers in the remote communities of Patjarr and Warburton, 700 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie.

Yuddiy said he was passionate about sharing knowledge through his job.

"When we do the artefacts, and the trapping and all that, burning and all that, that's why I'm doing that and that's why I feel happy to be honoured," he said.

"And I am giving that back now."

WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby said Yuddiy was deserved recipient of the award.

"My congratulations to Yuddiy Brown for winning International Ranger of the Year and for his ongoing commitment to protecting culture and preserving biodiversity," he said.

"The McGowan Government remains committed to creating more on-country jobs for Traditional Owners, through joint management partnerships covering national parks and further afield through the Aboriginal Ranger Program."

The reserve Yuddiy works in was renamed Pila in June when native title was determined for the area.


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