Alistair Dermer

Alistair Dermer


Long-term commitment: our ongoing work with the li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Rangers

It’s a long way to the town of Borroloola on Yanyuwa Country from Southern Tasmania – a couple of planes, a night in Katherine, a 10-hour drive through the deep red and bright green Northern Territory landscape. We arrive to locals fishing for barramundi on the McArthur River, grass as high as our heads that’s shot up during the wet season, termite mounds scattered through the plains some with t-shirts and hats on. Remote Northern Australia is a pretty special place with never ending skies and a stillness that accompanies the vastness.

We recently travelled to Borroloola to continue working with the li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit (SRU) in operationalising their sea country program. We stayed for four days and worked with a group of 10-15 members of the SRU to tackle work such as a risk assessment, stakeholder analysis, operations manual, the Yanyuwa Indigenous Protected Area expansion, staff contract, position descriptions, as well as developing a vision and purpose statement for the group. This trip is part of Conservation Management’s ongoing commitment to the SRU and demonstrates the range of services that we offer the groups that we work with.

To progress through so much work, it was important to have a change of scenery every once in a while. We went down to the boat ramp and wrote the stakeholder analysis in the sand with a crocodile floating on the other side of the river (only in Australia!). We grabbed some lunch as a whole team and gathered by the river for staff interviews and fishing. These different settings enabled re-engagement with the work we were doing and a break from the office.

A lot was accomplished during this trip but one of the most rewarding parts was to reconnect with the team after a long period of isolation due to Covid-19. To hear their stories and their achievements within the program from sighting a herd of 50 dugong in Limmen Bight to almost eliminating feral cats from the islands they work on in the Gulf of Carpentaria makes me feel proud to work with such an amazing group of people.

The li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit has grown so much in the 20 years that they’ve been operating, and they have made an enormous difference to the region. We look forward to supporting the group to continue to foster positive change on Yanyuwa and Marra Country.

Stakeholder analysis – Photo Credit: Alistair Dermer

Staff interviews and fishing down by the river  – Photo Credit: Alistair Dermer

Back in the office – Photo Credit: Alistair Dermer

li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Team – Photo Credit: Alistair Dermer

Banner Image – Photo Credit: Sasha Brightman

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