Projects in Tasmania
Photo: Katharine Sale
Milaythina pakana, meaning Tasmanian Aboriginal land, is home to sites of significant historic and cultural heritage to the Aboriginal community in Tasmania.
A team of Aboriginal rangers employed through the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre are working to restore and protect the environmental and cultural values of this region. The rangers work across several Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) that span approximately 10,650 hectares in southern Tasmania and the Furneaux Island group in the Bass Strait. In the north are Mt Chappell Island and Badger Island IPA, and the Babel Island, Great Dog Island and Lungtalanana IPAs while putalina (Oyster Cove) and Risdon Cove IPAs lie in the south.
The rangers support environmental rehabilitation of these lands that have been degraded by clearing, through weed and feral animal control and revegetation. These activities are improving habitat for threatened species, particularly Cape Barren geese, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the Swift Parrot.
The Furneaux Islands have long been regarded by Aboriginal people as an important part of the seasonal food-gathering cycle. In the Mount Chappell and Badger Island IPA archaeological evidence of occupation in the region dates to at least 20,500 years ago. Through this project, the ranger team are enhancing cultural values with the erection of visitor interpretation signs, walking track construction and stabilisation of important heritage sites. The protection and rehabilitation of mutton bird (Puffinus tenuirostris) rookeries is also a priority in the context of cultural heritage protection.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre also supports Aboriginal people to get back on country, including the highly successful annual Putalina Festival, at Oyster Cove, which was handed back to the Aboriginal people in 1995. The festival celebrates Aboriginal culture with music, dance and festivities, and provides a platform for young Aboriginal performers.
Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Aboriginal Trainee Ranger Program managed by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment
Photo: Damon Lewis
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Trainee Rangers project is currently taking place across state parks in Tasmania, Flinders Island and other surrounding islands. These areas contain some of the best preserved environment in Australia including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. This World Heritage Area has been internationally recognised due to the unique and irreplaceable flora, fauna, landscapes and cultural heritage it contains.
The Tasmanian Aboriginal Trainee Ranger project is a partnership between the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. As part of this, Working on Country supports employment of five Aboriginal trainee rangers. The agreement also emphasises involvement of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and collaboration on community-directed projects.
The Trainee rangers get a first hand view of all aspects of park management. This includes natural resource management activities such as strategic weed control and also heritage work such as an active involvement in management of state-managed Aboriginal sites. Training and professional development is primarily in areas of park management such as conservation and land management and will culminate in the award of a formally recognised qualification. Working on Country Trainees that successfully complete their traineeship are guaranteed ongoing employment with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.