Wunggurr Rangers erect Indigenous signs on the Gibb River Rd
The KLC’s Wunggurr Rangers yesterday erected Welcome to Country signs on the Gibb River Road to highlight the importance of Indigenous culture on the iconic tourist route.
A total of 10 signs will be placed at significant sites on the world renowned Gibb River Road, welcoming tourists to Ngarinyin Native Title land informing them about ways to respect and take care on country.
The signs have been produced in English and Ngarinyin language and were designed by Traditional Owners.
The Gibb River Road signage project has been completed with support from Main Roads and works to fulfill the vision of Traditional Owners in promoting their strong cultural links to country while creating positive interactions with tourists.
“Traditional Owners have been worried for tourists so it is about providing cultural awareness. It ‘s not just about asking for permission to go on country, but informing tourists that could go to places that aren’t safe for them,” Wunggurr Head Ranger Lloyd Nulgit said.
“These signs are also to let people know that we are the Ngarinyin people, we are here and we still have our law and culture.
“We want to give people travelling on the Gibb River Rd a good idea about our country.
“We will be doing more cultural awareness projects this year with tourism operators in the area to make sure people know where to go and how to look after country when they are visiting.”
The Ngarinyin people are also working towards establishing an Indigenous Protected Area on their country and the Gibb River Rd signage project will work to complement this and the possible declaration of a Ngarinyin Aboriginal National Park in the near future.
Mr Nulgit said his Wunggurr ranger team had also been working on a range of projects including pest, animal and plant management, the monitoring and trapping of mammals, as well as ways to slow the spread of cane toads to their country.
“Cane toads kill a lot of the reptiles such as goannas and lizards, and are damaging to the land. We go out cane toad busting to try and stop them spreading to Ngarinyin country,” he said.
KLC Acting Chief Executive Officer Anthony Watson said that the ranger program was vital to achieving caring for country outcomes and fostered the exchange of knowledge from senior elders to young people.
“Rangers are good leaders and positive role models in our communities, as they are work to look after country while learning about culture from our old people,” Mr Watson said.
“They get TAFE qualifications in Conservation and Land Management while learning the traditional ways of caring for country. We are proud of all our ranger groups and the men and women that are part of the Kimberley Ranger Program team,” said Mr Watson.
The Wunggurr Rangers are one of 13 ranger groups the KLC facilitates, with the program employing more than 80 men and women across the Kimberley.
Media Release – February 3, 2012
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