Established in 2017 the Ranger Program is funded by the Banjima community and administered by the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BNTAC). The program is budgeted to employ Banjima Rangers, a Cultural Advisor, a Ranger Coordinator and a Country Manager, and is hosted by BNTAC’s Banjima Country Management Unit in Tom Price.
Banjima country comprises more than 1 million hectares of land and is situated in the central Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Banjima Rangers, with support from the elders, work with Banjima People and specialists to implement projects identified in the Banjima Yurlulubaju (‘Lands of the Banjima’) Strategic Plan.
Prepared by the Banjima People, the strategic plan outlines a shared vision that protects country and culture, and connects Banjima People to traditional lore and language:
Banjima Country is a model for language, cultural lore, land and water management, demonstrating successful methods of cultural restoration and land management in Manggurdu and floodplain, Wirlawali Creek, Karijini and Birdirrla Ranges to increase population viability of native species and their habitats by Banjima people in partnership with other organisations, corporations and agencies.
The strategic plan addresses significant conservation values including the Mangurrdu (Fortescue River and flood Plain), Karijini and Birdirrla Ranges (Chichester Ranges) Wirlawali Creek and cultural values important to Banjima that help the community to look after country.
Since 2017 the Banjima Rangers have participated in structured education and training programs to build capacity and become professional land managers. Each ranger is enrolled in Certificate II &III Conservation Land Management courses and receives full educational tutoring and tailored training to match their ranger skill-sets and personal interests. Some of the units studied include: 4WD training; chemical handling; plant recognition; work health and safety; digital media; eco-tourism; cultural heritage; fire management; business studies; land administration; radio communications and environmental law.
By spending time with the elders and specialists on country the rangers will gain knowledge and understanding of the cultural and environmental landscape. This will help build respect and confidence amongst the ranger team. Importantly it will increase their capacity to implement projects identified in the strategic plan that will keep the country healthy. These projects include:
- Banjima capacity development Fire management
- Surveys and monitoring Feral herbivore management
- Water protection Feral predator management
- Cultural heritage program Mine activity engagement
- Access management Weed management
Works undertaken by the Banjima Rangers in 2018 include: cultural activities in the Karijini Experience tourism event; land management activities with state rangers in Karijini National Park; community and cultural events; and Banjima led survey and monitoring activities on Banjima country.
If you would like to find out more about the program or how your organisation can work with the Banjima Rangers please contact the Ranger Coordinator, Ms Rebekah Revesz on 0448 125 988.