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Indigenous Rangers Program

The Australian government funded Indigenous Rangers Program assists First Nations people in managing Country according to Traditional Owners’ objectives.

There are over 120 separate Indigenous Ranger groups in Australia. Rangers work in Indigenous Protected Areas, national parks, privately-held land, and on the sea. 

This interactive map shows the location of First Nations ranger groups in Australia and their administering bodies.

Ranger groups across the country are able to deliver environmental services for a fee.

In 2023, the Australian Government announced its aim to double the number of Indigenous rangers by 2030. The government is developing an Indigenous Ranger Sector Strategy to guide the future growth of Indigenous ranger organisations across Australia. 

Additional ranger programs include Women Only Ranger Program, the Indigenous Ranger Biosecurity Program (IRBP) set up to protect Australia’s agriculture industries by contributing to the delivery of enhanced biosecurity capability in northern Australia, engaging Indigenous rangers through fee for service arrangements to undertake biosecurity activities, and the Junior Ranger Program offers on-Country learning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students across Australia, through sharing and passing on First Nations knowledge, customary practice and caring for Country.

Some jurisdictions government’s also support ranger programs:

  • New South Wales' Local Land Services Aboriginal Ranger Program operates across the Central West, Murray, Riverina and North West regions and is designed to improve Aboriginal people’s connection to Country and provide meaningful career pathways through formal training and implementing learnings across the region.

  • Northern Territory's Aboriginal Ranger program assists Aboriginal ranger groups to manage their land and sea country.

  • Queensland's Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program is a partnership between the Queensland Government and First Nations communities to care for land and sea country, assisting First Nations organisations to employ Land and Sea Rangers and offers grant funding, training, networking and partnership support.

  • South Australia’s Aboriginal Ranger Program employs rangers to be responsible for the maintenance and presentation of park facilities and assets across multiple South Australian National Parks, with the aim of increasing the number of co-managed parks, better protecting Aboriginal heritage and cultural sites, and ensuring Aboriginal people have a voice on the future of the River Murray.

  • Tasmania’s Working on Country Ranger Program recognises that protecting and conserving the parks and reserves estate is a shared responsibility, enabling participants to develop knowledge and skills and to gain professional qualifications, subsequently providing sustainable employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.
  • Western Australia’s Aboriginal Ranger Program aims to help Aboriginal organisations manage country and protect the environment across the State, in partnership with the public and private sectors. Funding is available for jobs for Aboriginal rangers, training, community development as well as research, tourism and other expansion activities.