Local corporation Tjaltjraak has been named as one of the 13 Aboriginal organisations set to share in the $8.5 million of funds for round one of the state government’s Aboriginal Ranger Program.
The grants were announced as part of a five-year investment of $20 million in the ranger programs and are expected to create around 85 new jobs and 80 training opportunities for Aboriginal rangers across the state.
The recipients will employ rangers to undertake land management including conservation, cultural, tourism and education activities.
The state government plan to finalise a funding agreement with the recipients in the coming months.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the program would provide significant new jobs and training opportunities for Aboriginal people, including 47 female Aboriginal ranger positions.
“It was very encouraging to see so many applications for the first round of the program, which reflects the aspirations of Aboriginal people to establish ranger programs to manage their country,” he said.
“We strongly support the aspirations of Aboriginal people to welcome visitors to their lands, so they can share a deeper understanding of Aboriginal culture and our joint efforts to keep the country healthy and alive.”
Corporation chairperson Gail Reynolds-Adamson said the funding would enable the establishment of the ranger team for a six month pilot project.
“There will be an opportunity to train up 12 Nyungar persons in the basic skills needed for a career as an Aboriginal ranger,” she said.
“The program will be inclusive of both male and female trainees, and look to engage community elders to provide cultural knowledge of sites and stories as well as traditional ecological knowledge.
“The participants will be enrolled formal training programs that have a strong focus on gaining practical on-country skills and an important outcome of the project is to have a team of trained Nyungar firefighters ready to assist other agencies and the community during the next fire season.”
Premier Mark McGowan said that, as a key election commitment, the ranger program was one the state government were extremely proud to deliver.
“More jobs and training for Aboriginal rangers across WA will help protect the environment and deliver positive economic outcomes for Aboriginal communities,” he said.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said the program would have social, cultural and economic benefits.