Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (April 2010)
CLC ranger camp
The rangers showed their true colours at the CLC’s annual ranger camp at Ross River in March as they tackled anything from snake catching to abseiling to reading scientific data from waterholes.
The camp was an extraordinary success and the rangers were all extremely happy to be able to get together and get themselves more skills to use back on their country .
Damien Williams from Hermannsburg has only been a Tjuwanpa Ranger for a year but declared the experience of being a ranger as “awesome”.
“Hanging out doing work with my cousins, being out on country, just having fun,” he said. “It makes people at Hermannsburg feel really proud of how we are looking after country and setting an example for the younger ones.”
Mr Williams was one of the lucky Tjuwanpa rangers to go to Tasmania last year to learn about constructing walking trails. Back in Central Australia he has worked on the Larapinta Trail and some work at Lajamanu as well as fencing, surveys and weed work around Hermannsburg.
Richard Furber from Santa Teresa is also a new ranger and loves his job.
“Before I just worked on CDEP at Santa Teresa doing rubbish collection," he said.
“This is better because you can go out bush and learn about country and respect it. Old people tell stories. Our rangers just started off last year and we got courses and we’re on the road. I want to get more and get going.”
The rangers were on a steep learning curve for the week, many of them got their quad bike certificates, GPS training, abseiling, fire training using a new incendiary device from a helicopter, snake catching and waterhole monitoring.
“It feels good and it feels proud too because you’re learning the old way too,” Richard Furber said.
Don Mallard is the CLC Ranger Mentor.
“For a lot of the rangers it’s the first time they have had a job and a lot of issues come with being in full-time work,” he said. "My job is to support them."
Mr Mallard says that the retention rate has been extremely good.
"All the guys know I’m around now and when issues pop up we address them straight away," he said.
"Those issues could have ended with somebody leaving the job before we had mentoring in place."