KLC News Update, April 19, 2010
In a Kimberley first, more than 150 rangers descended on Home Valley Station to share ideas and experiences at the Kimberley Ranger Forum.
All Kimberley ranger groups attended the event along with groups from the Northern Territory and Pilbara.
The three-day Kimberley Land Council Forum enabled rangers to network with each other while also providing training opportunities.
Munja Ranger Ben Victor said the forum was great in that it brought rangers from across the country together.
He also praised the work of elders, who are pivotal to the ranger movement.
“We learn a lot from the elders. We learn from our elders so we can carry their knowledge on to our little ones and it can keep going on to the next generation and the generation after that,’’ Ben said.
“Learning from our elders is really important as Aboriginal people of our country.’’
The forum focused on looking after country but also provided specialised training opportunities for rangers which included workshops on survival, bush mechanics, media and technology, conflict resolution and water science.
A highlight of the forum was the number of female ranger groups and women that attended the event. A special workshop was held, from which the women put together a statement about their role in looking after our country. It said:
“We Aboriginal women of the Kimberley region are strong in caring for our country and culture. We want support and recognition for the work we do, so we can keep on growing for our elders and younger generations.’’
Wunggurr ranger Ashton Nandoo said being a ranger had taught him about the importance of country.
“I have learnt a lot of things being a ranger. I have learnt that country is very important to any Indigenous people anywhere around Australia,’’ he said.
“Country is the number one thing; culture and country. We get the chance to record all of that information and hopefully one day we will be protecting it all.’’
The Wunggurr Rangers also organised youth activities including bread making and wildlife spotting.
Rangers also showed off their musical talents and capped off the ranger forum with two nights of singing and dancing.