- Yuddiy (Ben) Brown wins IUCN WCPA International Ranger Award
- Recognised for conservation work in remote Goldfields national parks and reserves
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger Yuddiy (Ben) Brown has been named International Ranger of the Year by one of the world's leading conservation organisations.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature International Ranger Awards were announced in the Rwandan capital Kigali this week recognising the remarkable work of rangers in conservation areas around the world.
Yuddiy works as Ranger Lead in DBCA's Goldfields region, alongside Parks and Wildlife Service operational staff conducting fire management, track maintenance and protection of cultural sites, including rock hole cleaning to maintain water sources for native animals such as birds, emu, bilby and kangaroo.
Yuddiy is a Traditional Owner from the Martu lands and supports Warnpuru Aboriginal Corporation Rangers in the remote communities of Patjarr and Warburton, over 900 kilometres from Kalgoorlie. The nomination cited Yuddiy's dedication to his Parks and Wildlife Service role and helping his people secure native title over Pila Nature Reserve.
His outstanding service across a huge operational patch includes travelling from Kalgoorlie to Warburton and back again in two days (1,800km) to transport Warnpuru members so they could attend meetings with the State Government to negotiate for Patjarr community resources and funding.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
"My congratulations to Yuddiy Brown for winning International Ranger of the Year and for his ongoing commitment to protecting culture and preserving biodiversity.
"Yuddiy has a remarkable personal story. It's believed he is the last baby born in the desert to parents living a traditional subsistence lifestyle, surviving entirely off the land as his people had done for thousands of years. The extraordinary film of Yuddiy's family emerging from the desert to meet a State Government expedition during the drought in 1976 is a historic moment.
"Yuddiy has lived a life that few remaining Elders can relate to and he has overcome past hurdles and hardships to take on his current role and help protect Pila Nature Reserve.
"The McGowan Government remains committed to creating more on-country jobs for Traditional Owners, through joint management partnerships covering national parks and further afield through the Aboriginal Ranger Program."
Minister's office - 6552 6300