- Bush Rangers and River Rangers programs connect young people to the environment
- McGowan Labor Government supporting Aboriginal employment through $20 million Indigenous Ranger Program
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has acknowledged the leadership of school-based conservationists in creating Western Australia's next generation of park rangers.
More than 3,700 primary and secondary students from across the State currently participate in the Bush Rangers and River Rangers programs co-ordinated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Significantly, Bush Rangers has 26 per cent Aboriginal and 47 per cent female participation, the highest rates across all Cadets WA programs.
About 100 Bush Ranger and River Ranger unit leaders met in Perth last week to exchange ideas and plan program activities over the next 12 months.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The Bush Rangers programs in the Kimberley and other remote parts of the State have been highly successful in creating pathways for careers in conservation and land management with Parks and Wildlife.
"The McGowan Labor Government is building on these pathways by investing $20 million over the next five years to provide more opportunities for Aboriginal rangers through an Indigenous Ranger Program.
"It will be focused on jobs for Aboriginal rangers in Indigenous Protected Areas, on indigenous tenures and in national parks.
"By providing more Aboriginal employment opportunities, the Indigenous Ranger Program will bring significant jobs, social and economic benefits to communities in regional and remote WA.
"The new program will complement existing indigenous ranger training and development programs. These programs are a significant investment in the future of parks, native animals and plants in WA.
"By giving young people the opportunity to contribute to their communities by developing land management skills, we can help them form a life-long appreciation for WA's natural environment."
Minister's office: 6552 5800
Grant Capes, Fitzroy Valley District High School (left); Environment Minister (middle); and Kurt Skeen, Fitzroy Valley District High School (right)