Bulmba Rangers Care for Country

January 31, 2018

Bulmba Rangers tackling yellow antsA new indigenous ranger program is kicking goals in the Kuranda, Barron Gorge and Mona Mona region.

The Bulmba Rangers have restored traditional fire management practices, helped to control yellow crazy ant outbreaks and given the community an insight into cultural practices.

Djabugay Aboriginal Corporation senior project officer Barry J Hunter said the project fulfilled a traditional owner aim to both care for country and help local jobseekers learn new skills.

Rangers have undertaken successful burns around Mona Mona in partnership with the Queensland Rural Fire Brigade thanks to equipment and training in traditional fire management practices funded through a Rainforest Aboriginal Grant from Terrain NRM through the National Landcare Program. (See a video of the action here. https://vimeo.com/237192870)

As part of the grant they have also been to Australian Tropical Herbarium workshops on traditional uses of local plants.

Bulmba Rangers have since staged a community cultural day in Kuranda where about 150 people enjoyed traditional craft and language activities as well as presentations on their new roles.

They have also visited schools and talked with students about Djabugay culture and land management.

Another priority has been working with Kuranda Envirocare to eradicate a yellow crazy ant outbreak near the Barron River. Rangers helped to bait the ants and monitored results.

The Bulmba Rangers began in early 2017 as a community development program run by the Buda-Dji Aboriginal Development Association and Rise Ventures. Organisers hope the initiative will become a fully-funded, permanent program building capacity for Djabugay people to again manage their traditional country.

Mr Hunter says both participants and the greater community have benefited from the new program.
“It is a good start that Bulmba rangers are playing a role in managing our cultural and natural resources,’’ he says.

“Caring for Country has always been a critical aim for Djabugay people.”