Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Ngadju Ranger Program – Transition to Self Sufficiency

Following a transition phase, Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation now has full operational and management responsibility of their land management and ranger programs with endorsement from the Ngadju Prescribed Body Corporate.

Now operating out of their own ranger premises in Norseman, the program has continued to develop and provide skills training and full-time employment for Ngadju people managing their country.

“To come from such humble beginnings and see the program flourishing under Ngadju management is a terrific outcome,” said Gondwana Link program manager Peter Price.

The program was also recently recognised in the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap Report.

“To have the program’s success recognised is testament to the drive and motivation of the Ngadju people and in particular Les Schultz,” said Mr Price.

The development of the Ngadju land management and ranger program commenced in 2011 from a strong desire and unwavering leadership of Les Schultz.

In January 2013, Ngadju Elders and community held a workshop in Norseman with Gondwana Link and Rangelands NRM to scope out a pathway forward for Ngadju and a long-term partnership to help start them on that pathway.

As a result of that workshop, Rangelands NRM provided a funding commitment over five years for the development of a capacity building program to support Ngadju land management aspirations to be administrated through Gondwana Link.

The delivery of the program was under the guidance of respected Ngadju leader Les Schultz and Gondwana Link’s Great Western Woodlands program manager Peter Price.

Over the six years from 2013 to June 2018, the program developed the Ngadju Conservation Action/Healthy Country Plan, and established a Ngadju Ranger program with Mike Griffiths appointed as ranger coordinator based in Norseman.

“The Rangers received indigenous land management training, plus bush fire and residential fire training through Department of Fire and Emergency Services,” Mr Price said.

This resulted in the establishment of a Ngadju Dundas rural bushfire brigade under the Dundas Shire Council.

One of the most important achievements over this period was the establishment of Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation and its support from the Ngadju native title holders to undertake conservation land management within their 4.4 milllion hectare excusive native title area.

In October 2017, Indigenous Affairs Minister Scullion recognised the program’s success and provided long-term Caring for County funding through the Indigenous Advancement Scheme.

The funding was the catalyst for the program administration to shift from Gondwana Link to Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation.

Image: Ngadju Rangers at the base. L-R Team leader William Newchurch, Travis Schoenfeld, James Schultz Snr and Dwayne Graham