The Bawinanga Rangers are based in the community of Maningrida in Arnhem Land and operate primarily within the Djelk IPA region and the surrounding outstations. Under the direction of a representative body of senior landowners / djungkay, we are responsible for the ongoing care and management of this sea and land country.

‘Djelk’ is a Gurrgoni language word meaning ‘land’ and ‘caring for land’. Our ranger program began in the early 1990s through a strategic, community-based initiative, led by landowners, in response to contemporary environmental issues. In our first decade we had land management responsibilities, and in 2002 our operations expanded to include sea country. We plan and implement strategies that will make the most difference to the health of our land and sea country, as directed by our landowners.

Over 90% of the Bawinanga Rangers team are Indigenous people, and we have targets and strategies in place to achieve gender equality over time. Between us, we speak more than ten different languages and represent many different clans from across our region. The authority and integrity conferred by our cultural governance means that we are a ranger unit that knows its business and does it well.

To us, being a ranger is not just a job: it’s the best job. We are passionate about the health of our country and the enduring change we are creating. Our commitment to our vocation and the integration of professional development opportunities in our work plans gives us greater agency, individually and collectively. Every workday we are expanding and sharing our expertise as we fulfil our cultural responsibilities to our country.

Our ranger program has three streams: land rangers, sea rangers and women rangers.

Our land rangers focus on maintaining biodiversity, cultural resources and the productivity of the country, addressing issues of fire, feral animals and weeds.

Our sea ranger team manages and surveils our coast, protecting local and natural resources and contributing to frontline border and bio-security at a national level.

Our women rangers work across both land and sea management, with a focus on monitoring landscape health and biodiversity.