Release date: 18/01/2023

The first five Aboriginal park rangers promised as part of a $5 million Malinauskas government election commitment have started working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The new rangers will be responsible for the maintenance and presentation of park facilities and assets across the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Outback, Far West and Lower Limestone Coast districts.

This includes participating in fire and emergency responses, and working with key partners, including park neighbours, conservation partners, volunteers and Aboriginal communities.

A total of 15 new Aboriginal rangers will be employed as part of a $5 million initiative aimed at increasing Aboriginal management of our natural environment.

Of the 143 rangers currently employed by the NPWS, 30 are Aboriginal with this figure to rise to 40 in the next two years.

The Malinauskas government wants Aboriginal people and culture at the forefront of our parks network, ensuring their stories are an integral part of visitor experiences.

This includes increasing the number of co-managed parks, better protecting Aboriginal heritage and cultural sites, and ensuring Aboriginal people have a voice on the future of the River Murray.

In 2004, Labor introduced the co-managed parks system and transferred the Mamungari Conservation Park back to Aboriginal people and the Malinauskas government is committed to building on this work.

Quotes

Attributable to Susan Close

The Malinauskas government is committed to honouring the pivotal role Aboriginal people have played in managing our landscapes for thousands of years.

These new appointments are a key part of this government’s election commitment to increase Aboriginal management of natural environment.

Employing more Aboriginal rangers will help support culture, storytelling and language, and provide a much richer experience for people visiting national parks.

Attributable to Kyam Maher

Aboriginal people bring a deep knowledge and understanding of our natural environment which has been developed over tens of thousands of years.

These new rangers will bring an Aboriginal perspective to the management of country and that is good thing for country and for tourist experiences.

Attributable to NPWS acting Director Regional Operations Craig Nixon

The employment of 15 new Aboriginal rangers will mean more than 25 per cent of NPWS rangers are Aboriginal.

Our recruitment process has relied on regional relationships with senior community Traditional Owners to identify locally based community members with an interest and aptitude for a ranger’s role.

Attributable to new NPWS ranger Ashley Millar

I am excited about working on Country and playing an important role in nature conservation.

Being a National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger gives me the opportunity to care for both the environment and the cultural heritage in our national parks, while ensuring park visitors have a safe and memorable experience.