The Kimberley Land Council has paid tribute to the more than 30 Indigenous rangers who will leave the organisation’s ranks following the end of ‘Green Army’ funding this month.
The axing of the Federal Government program will mean the loss of one third of the Indigenous rangers hosted by the KLC and more than half of the KLC’s female rangers.
Six Kimberley Ranger Network groups have been impacted, including the Kija rangers based at Warmun Community who will have their team reduced from eight rangers to just two.
The Bardi Jawi Oorany women’s ranger team, based at One Arm Point, has been reduced from seven rangers to one.
The Kimberley Ranger Network employs Indigenous land and sea managers to undertake cultural and natural resource projects to improve and enhance the unique biodiversity and cultural values of the region.
The network is facilitated by the KLC and currently comprises 14 Indigenous ranger groups located across the Kimberley.
KLC deputy chief executive officer Tyronne Garstone thanked the rangers for their commitment to working on country and caring for country.
“Since working as rangers, these young men and women have become leaders in their community,” Mr Garstone said.
“The rangers have developed skills, employment experience and had important opportunities to learn from elders about culture and country.
“For many, this program provided employment in remote communities where jobs don’t exist, allowing people to leave the welfare system and take control of their income.
“These achievements are inspirational and something all of the rangers employed under Green Army should be proud of.
“It is disappointing to lose these positions and see people forced back into the welfare system, rather than working on country as rangers.”
Kimberley Ranger Network groups impacted by the Green Army funding cuts include, Karajarri, Bardi Jawi Oorany, Kija, Ngurrara, Nyul Nyul and Nyaliga rangers.