Dave Whitelaw

Dave Whitelaw

16.03.2019

Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation benefits from Lotterywest grant

The Banjima people began their ranger journey in 2017. They were deeply concerned by the deteriorating health of their Elders, and with that, an imminent loss of culture, language and history. 

Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (BNTAC) supported the community to invest in the development of the Banjima Yurlubajagu Strategic Plan.  Working to the community’s plan, BNTAC next set about establishing the Banjima rangers to address the loss of traditional knowledge, lack of culturally appropriate employment, and improve community pride and wellbeing.

Conservation Management is supporting them through this journey from community consultation and planning, to recruiting and training Banjima rangers.  These Banjima rangers are now working with their Elders, based in Tom Price, to ensure their knowledge continues, and the wider community is engaged in looking after country.

Proper stewardship across 1,000,000 hectares, managing country and culture, requires more than just community commitment however – outside support was needed.

Conservation Management worked with the Banjima Country Management unit to identify their next biggest need – a 4WD vehicle, properly fitted out to lead community convoys out on country – and where they might access support to purchase it.

Western Australia’s State owned and operated lottery, Lotterywest, returns all profits directly back to the local community. Lotterywest provides a vital source of support for public hospitals, sport, the arts and WA’s community groups and local government authorities, providing $260 million in 2017-18.  Conservation Management worked through the application process with BNTAC, helping to articulate just how important Banjima traditional lands and ancient culture are to the whole WA community.

Thanks to a grant from Lotterywest, Banjima rangers now have a fully-fitted out 4WD vehicle they can use to get their whole community out on country to look after it, get together and practice Banjima culture.

Banjima Ranger Coordinator, Bek Revesz was quoted as saying, “This new motor car from Lotterywest will make a big difference in getting the ranger team on-country, especially onto the Manggurdu where four-wheel driving is essential.  This Fortescue Marsh area is a priority survey and monitoring area for the ranger team in 2019”.

Banjima Ranger Co-ordinator, Bek Revesz

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