Aboriginal rangers looking after country

Aboriginal Ranger Tremane Patterson giving a talk on rock art at ‘Wattleridge’ earlier in the year
05th Sep 2023

Guyra based Banbai Rangers are working with key agencies and experts to care for Country. Banbai are recognised nationally as leaders in cultural burning, threatened species and cultural heritage protection and are a strong example of an Aboriginal-led culture first approach to conservation land management.

On-Country Planning Pilot for Banbai Country from verso on Vimeo.

Having managed two Indigenous Protected Areas for many years the Aboriginal rangers are now working with the NSW Natural Resources Commission, Melaleuca Environmental, NSW Aboriginal Affairs, and many others, to develop a new blueprint for investment.
At a time when bushfires in Australia are becoming hotter, larger and more damaging, the Banbai Whole of Country plan is a leading land and fire management project taking place in the New England region.
The project follows an investigation by Banbai into the impact of the 2019-20 wildfires on their cultural sites and values.
The study documented extensive damage to cultural values including ancient rock art sites. Other sites under management by Banbai fared much better during the bushfires in 2019, because of careful management by Banbai.
To build on this work, Banbai and Guyra Local Aboriginal Land Council are hosting a two day workshop at Wattleridge Indigenous Protected Area and Guyra on September 14th and 15th. This builds on the success of another workshop in April where they hosted 32 land and fire management professionals to help develop the Banbai Whole of Country Plan.
Sixteen organisations were represented including the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Local Land Services and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Private landholders who have an interest in Aboriginal cultural heritage or cultural burning are welcome to attend the September workshop.
The new approach is Banbai’s way of demonstrating Aboriginal-led whole of Country natural resource management through partnerships. Banbai teach us that land management cooperation is essential for better outcomes. Through the work, Banbai are offering to do cultural burns on land that other people own and manage, because it’s the right way for Country.
A short film on the project can be is available to watch on the
Guyra Local Aboriginal Land Council’s facebook page. You can also watch by following this link

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