Outback Queensland's Indigenous people have had a continuous connection to country for more than 50,000 years. Cultural heritage and the natural environment are inseparable for Indigenous people, and Indigenous Ranger programs are established success stories and recognised as world-leading models for conservation.
The Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program provides funding and technical support to rangers in 17 communities across Queensland. Rangers employed through the program care for land and sea country using both traditional knowledge and modern science. They conduct species surveys, control introduced predators such as feral cats, and set small, controlled burns to reduce the risk of large, destructive wildfires. They also maintain tourism facilities and cultural sites.
Indigenous Rangers are essential for caring for many of Queensland’s most ecologically and culturally significant places. Indigenous ranger programs provide significant benefits to remote communities where other forms of employment are scarce.
In 2016, a return on investment analysis produced for Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet found that every $1 invested in Indigenous land management returned more than $3 value, not only through low-cost land management, but also through the flow-on benefits of meaningful work on country for Indigenous people. This included increased skills and confidence, the transfer and preservation of cultural knowledge, improved health and well-being, stronger community role models, safer communities, and improved justice outcomes.
81 percent of Queenslanders believe Indigenous rangers have an important role to play in managing and conserving the natural and cultural values of their land.
The Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program is a proven success story, delivering environmental, social and economic benefits for outback Queensland. Growing this program is a key way the Queensland Government can support a living Outback.
Our Living Outback supports growing Indigenous Ranger jobs through Country Needs People - an Australian non-profit working with over 40 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to grow and secure Indigenous land and sea management with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts and many thousands of Queenslanders.