Rangers recognised as Landcare champions
FOR the Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council, having their rangers team recognised for their efforts has been a blessing.
At the 2019 NSW Landcare Awards held last month, the ranger program was recognised as a 'Landcare Champion' for the program participants' efforts in regenerating the land council's reserve and nursery near Nimbin Rocks.
The land council has been running the ranger program since 2010, with the scheme employing local Aboriginal people to learn proper land management.
Ranger project coordinator Karan-Rae West said the primary goal of the Ngulingah Rangers were to return the Nimbin Rocks area back to its natural state.
She said as part of their studies rangers learn a wide variety of land management skills, including weed management and cultural burning, as well as participating in workshops and Firesticks programs and working with other land councils.
"We collect seeds from an area and propagate them at Nimbin, where we can put them straight back onto the property,” she said.
"We have really started to make a difference to our land and we are currently expanding our nursery, doubling our size nearly since we started.”
She said as the project coordinator, it has been "wonderful” to have her team recognised by Landcare.
"It's so fantastic to see the rangers' hard work be recognised,” she said.
Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land Council chairman James Henderson travelled to Broken Hill to represent the land council and collect the award.
He said the Landcare people had been amazed by the work the rangers had done, and said he was immensely proud of their efforts.
"It was a great honour for me to represent the team, but this is all about them. They deserve this,” he said.
"After seeing everything they have done, we ask ourselves, where do we go from here. I don't know, but I can see a brighter future ahead.”
The Landcare awards ceremony saw award winners from diverse categories, including farming, Coastcare and Indigenous land management, announced by representatives of award sponsors and NSW Landcare community champions and stalwarts.