Photo caption: The Barkandji Rangers will be able to continue delivering their Healthy Country Plan for the next seven years thanks to more than $4.2 million in funding through the Federal Government’s Indigenous Ranger Program. Pictured is (back l-r) Barkandji Native Title RNTPBC Director Warlpa Thompson, Ranger Leo Johnson, Chairperson Gerald Quayle, Director Leroy Johnson, CEO Derek Hardman, (front) Ranger Barbara Quayle, Ranger Coordinator Cheryl Blore and Ranger Fred Bennett. (Photo contributed)
The Australian Government is making sure Indigenous rangers have the certainty they need to invest in long-term programs for the benefit of the Barkandji Native Title Determination Area.
In the latest Indigenous Ranger Program grant round, Barkandji Native Title Group Aboriginal Corporation has received $4,260,433 to fund their operations until 2028.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the funding will provide job security and allow the Barkandji Ranger Program to develop new activities so they can continue to care for country.
“Indigenous rangers are an integral part of our community, protecting and conserving country,” Mr Coulton said.
“This grant allows the Barkandji Native Title Group Aboriginal Corporation to invest in career pathways, training pipelines, and develop deep relationships with a range of related sectors so the benefits spread out further into our community.
“It takes multiple skillsets and areas of expertise to successfully manage country across Australia’s diverse landscape and that’s why the Barkandji Rangers have been selected to receive this funding, to ensure the Menindee area continues to receive the care it needs from the people who know it best.”
Barkandji Native Title Group Aboriginal Corporation CEO Derek Hardman said this funding allows for collaboration across multiple levels of government and creates self-determining and empowering change within the community.
“The Barkandji Ranger Program gives an opportunity to work closely with Traditional Owners on country, to support implementation of our Barkandji Healthy Country Plan within the Barkandji Native Title Determination area,” Mr Hardman said.
“It is life-changing in many aspects as it also gives our people and communities a culturally appropriate and sensitive approach to land and water management practices, in turn creating employment pathways and real jobs on the ground.
“Barkandji Native Title RNTPBC look forward to the journey ahead and thank NIAA and our Federal Ministers Mr Ken Wyatt and Mr Mark Coulton for the outgoing support and sharing our vision.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM said this funding is part of the more than $746 million Indigenous Rangers Program.
“The Morrison Government is delivering on its commitment to long-term funding for the Indigenous Ranger Program, with 80 organisations selected to continue caring for Australia’s natural and cultural landscape for the next seven years,” Minister Wyatt said.
“This commitment helps ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples maintain a distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters to the benefit of all Australians.
“In addition to protecting Australia’s environmental and heritage assets, caring for country generates economic opportunities and social and cultural benefits for Indigenous peoples that strengthen the wellbeing of communities and benefit Australia as a whole.”