Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

New marine park rangers to help manage Nyangumarta Country

[December 2015]

The Nyangumarta Rangers took a step closer to managing their own futures this month with the appointment of a new Ranger Coordinator and two Rangers to help manage the Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Managing country from the Desert to Eighty Mile Beach, the Rangers work closely with many partners, all focussed on supporting their development.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) appointed Todd Norwell as the new Ranger Coordinator. Mr Norwell lives in Bidyadanga with his family and will guide and support the ranger group in this exciting phase of its development.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife who manage the Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park have appointed the two Nyangumarta Rangers through their joint management arrangements with Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation.

The Nyangumarta ranger training program is coordinated by Greening Australia through their Pilbara Conservation Program (a joint venture with BHP Billiton Iron Ore) and supported by Rangelands NRM through the Australian Government National Landcare Programme.

Rangelands NRM Kimberley Program Manager Grey Mackay said this was a terrific opportunity for the Rangers and provides a potential pathway for future employment as they develop their skills and training.

Dedicated at a ceremony on 16 July 2015, the Nyangumarta Warrarn Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) has a rich and varied landscape. From the seemingly endless stretches of Eighty Mile Beach, through complex RAMSAR-listed wetlands, salt marsh and mound springs, into the rolling sand dunes of the Great Sandy Desert.

The Nyangumarta Warrarn IPA area totals approximately 28,420km² and like all Australia’s IPAs has become a part of the National Reserve System, allowing future generations to enjoy its outstanding environmental and cultural values.

The Nyangumarta people’s relationship to their country is rich and complex, and it is Nyangumarta people who know the cultural significance (including the songs, stories and dances) of Nyangumarta country.

Nyangumarta country is populated by songs, narratives, rituals, deceased persons and Ancestral Beings. A supernatural essence dwells in and radiates from particular places in Nyangumarta country where Ancestral Beings œcame up and/or œwent in, bestowed names upon, or transformed themselves into features of the contemporary cultural/natural land/seascape.

The Nyangumarta Warrarn IPA will be managed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Category 6. It receives the financial support from the Australian Government Indigenous Land Corporation and Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) Programme.

Image: Nyangumarta rangers 2015.