Mamu Plans for New Ranger Program

May 9, 2018

Planning has begun for an indigenous ranger program in the Innisfail region.

The Mamu Aboriginal Corporation RNTB is working towards its first country-based plan and hopes to follow up with the establishment of a ranger program.

Mamu traditional owner Lorraine Maund said learning about indigenous land and sea ranger programs in the Cape Tribulation, Yarrabah and Cardwell regions during a Women’s Land Management Workshop had been inspiring.

“These rangers work to protect the environment through activities ranging from monitoring species, and controlled burns to cultural conservation and education,’’ she said.

“There is a gap at the moment in the central coastal area of the Wet Tropics. We are planning to fill that gap by getting our people out there working on country.”

Lorraine, Jenny Joyce-Daley and aspiring ranger Francis Joyce went to the workshop, which was organised by Terrain NRM and the Wet Tropics Management Authority late last year. They have since secured a Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Grant from the State Government and an Aboriginal Rainforest Grant from Terrain NRM to develop a country-based plan.

“The plan will be a strong foundation for our organisation,’’ Lorraine said.

“We are holding family group meetings soon to get the word out and we hope this will lead to the creation of a steering committee for the project. We would like to see an Elders Advisory Committee form as well.”

She said the main focus at the moment was building solid foundations through the country-based plan. The organisation will follow up by seeking funding for a ranger program.

Rangers will have strong links with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.  Lorraine believes it is an important step in the region’s reconciliation process.

“Getting our people to work on country is a good start,’’ she said.  “It gives us pride, it delivers economic development and it helps to develop our culture in the younger generations.”

Mamu traditional owners interested in hearing more about the country-based plan and becoming involved can contact the Mamu RNTBC on 0484 144 073 (Jenny Joyce-Daley) or 4043 8050, or email mamurntbc@gmail.com

Terrain NRM’s Rainforest Aboriginal Grants are funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program to support country-based planning, sustainable livelihoods, involvement in natural resource management and recognition of cultural practices.

The next Wet Tropic Indigenous Women’s Land and Sea Managers Workshop will be in mid-2018, supported by Terrain NRM through National Landcare Program funding, and by the Wet Tropics Management Authority.

“The last workshop opened our eyes to opportunities,’’ Lorraine said.  “It gave us the chance to do a lot of networking too and to learn from others. We came back with ideas and we’ve progressed from there.”

For more information on Terrain NRM’s support for traditional owner groups in the Wet Tropics, ring Vanessa Drysdale on 0437 187 036.