[25 August 2015]
Ngadju Conservation have received a further two years’ support to continue work on protecting the biodiversity of the Great Western Woodlands in Western Australia.
Rangelands NRM and Gondwana Link have signed an agreement to work in partnership to continue support of Ngadju Conservation through funding by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Gondwana Link CEO Keith Bradby said continuing their involvement with Ngadju was ‘an absolute no-brainer’.
“From the support we’ve been able to give so far, Ngadju have made great progress in establishing a very real, well thought out and well recognised land management presence,” he said. “We’re delighted to be supporting such positive and rapid change.”
Rangelands NRM Program Manager (Southern Rangelands) Jane Bradley said the extended partnership will continue to underpin a number of key elements from the 2013-15 program, but with a stronger on-ground focus.
“Capacity building will continue, but through implementation of the actions identified in the Ngadju Conservation Action Plan,” she said.
The program is run from Norseman and focuses on the five million hectares of the Great Western Woodlands over which Ngadju Native Title has been recognised.
Key targets include endangered species such as the malleefowl and there is a broader focus on protecting the woodlands from invasive weeds.
“We expect a strengthening of biosecurity benefits to be a major outcome of the ongoing work,” Ms Bradley said.
“The Ngadju program puts ‘eyes on the ground’ over a vast area, where southern WA is particularly vulnerable to species entering from the eastern states, and work has already started work on eradication of a Noogoora Burr infestation near Norseman they identified in their weed training.”
The program has recently broadened to support establishment of the Ngadju Womens Group, coordinated out of Norseman by Jasmine McPhee who has also been building the local administration for parts of the project.
“Working on Ngadju country has become my passion because my Mum was in our Aboriginal women’s corporation and in partnership with Mirning Aboriginal women as well,” Ms McPhee said. “There’s not a lot of Aboriginal women rangers out there, let alone Ngadju women rangers.”
“I enjoy working on country because it helps me get back to my ancestors and sacred sites, and teach my children,” she said.
Mr Bradby said he was delighted that Ngadju Conservation has started to attract wider support and commercial service contracts including contracted biosecurity work.
“Sirius Mining have employed the Ngadju ‘Fighting Fires Fast’ team to manage fuel reduction burns around the minesite and the WA Department of Agriculture and Food and Shire of Dundas have started working with Ngadju Conservation to manage the Noogoora Burr infestation,” he said.
“In addition to the work on endangered species and other on-ground benefits, Ngadju Conservation asked us to ‘fill the gap’ until they had the skills and legal structures needed to run their own programs out of Norseman,” Mr Bradby said.
(L) Junior Ngadju Conservation members, Shaelene Coghlin and Philip Coghlin controlling Noogoora Burr during Indigenous Land Management training at Bromus Dam. Photographer: Peter Price
(R) Jasmine McPhee, Ngadju Ranger and Women’s Group Coordinator
NOTES FOR EDITOR:
Rangelands NRM WA is a not for profit, non-aligned, community-based group which aims to enhance the sustainable management of the WA rangelands through facilitation, collaboration and delivering outcomes. It is the largest of the 56 NRM regions in Australia, covering around 85 per cent (2,266,000 sq km) of the WA State’s land mass, and 75 per cent of the coastline. http://www.rangelandswa.com.au
Gondwana Link project is an ambitious connectivity conservation project in south-west Western Australia. The project was the first of its kind in Australia and is designed to protect and restore the ecological integrity of land areas across south-west Western Australia, a biodiversity hotspot, the completed link will be a continuous stretch of reconnected bushland stretching for a 1000 km from the wet forests in the State’s far southwest to the dry woodlands and shrublands bordering the Nullarbor Plain. It brings together many partners with complementary skills that benefit the environment and local and regional communities. http://www.gondwanalink.org/
Teresa Belcher, Communications Manager
Rangelands NRM, WA
Tel: 08 9468 5250
Mobile: 0488 594324