The NSW Government has launched a new Aboriginal Ranger Program designed to enhance Aboriginal peoples’ connection to country and provide meaningful career pathways.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the $5.95 million program will create genuine employment and training opportunities for Aboriginal people and communities across NSW.
“This is an exciting new initiative that will not only develop skills and experience for those involved, but also increase the inclusion of traditional land management practices in on-ground projects and programs across the State,” Mr Saunders said.
“These Rangers will help engage local communities in landscape management and will create unique opportunities for Local Land Services to work and walk together with Aboriginal people and communities.”
Delivered across the Riverina, Murray, Central and North West, the program will see 22 new Aboriginal staff recruited, including 16 trainee rangers based in local towns.
The Rangers will work on key parts of the Local Land Services operation, including assisting landholders with livestock health, pests and weeds, biosecurity matters, native vegetation, and managing travelling stock routes.
“The trainees will receive culturally safe training, mentoring and support across all areas of the Local Land Services business including conservation and ecosystem management, pest animal control, Aboriginal site identification and protection and more,” Mr Saunders said.
“Importantly, it will also provide employee and organisational growth through increased workforce diversity.”
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said the NSW Government is committed to providing career pathways and meaningful employment for Aboriginal people.
“Culture and country is at the core of every Aboriginal person’s identity and sense of belonging. It is our hope that through this program we will create life changing outcomes for our communities,” Mr Franklin said.
Local Land Services Business Partner Aboriginal Cultural Engagement and Gamilaraay man Graham Kelly said the program will champion opportunities for Aboriginal people and provide participants with accelerated exposure to Local Land Services and its operations.
“This program offers experience, exposure and development in our Land Services and Biosecurity teams and strengthens our ability to offer a career pathway to young Aboriginal people,” Mr Kelly said.
For more information on the Aboriginal Ranger Program, visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal-ranger