Issue 4 - May 4, 2010 enews home

Top End tour focuses on weeds

Rangers from Laynhapuy Yirralka Homelands Association Inc and NT Parks and Wildlife survey the extent of weed invasion

Rangers from Laynhapuy Yirralka Homelands Association Inc and NT Parks and Wildlife survey the extent of weed invasion

By Richie Hodgson

Rangers from the Laynhapuy Yirralka Homelands Association Inc have been on the trail of weed pests in the Top End.

The rangers joined CDU staff and NT Parks and Wildlife rangers on a five-day weed awareness trip, which allowed them to see how environments change if weeds take over the ecosystem, as well as to learn more about impacts and control methods.

Research champion with CDU’s School of Education, Ruth Wallace said the successful identification, management and eradication of plant biosecurity incursions across the north Australian coastline was a significant challenge.

Ms Wallace said CDU’s Conservation and Land Management Training Package encouraged connection to country.

“Effective partnerships between Indigenous land managers and relevant government agencies have developed to undertake biosecurity management in these remote regions," Ms Wallace said.

“This biosecurity surveillance, reporting and management work has the potential to be developed to support economic, cultural and social sustainability in remote Indigenous communities.”

NT Parks and Wildlife senior park ranger based at Laynhapuy, Danny Barrow said the five-day tour was a great opportunity for Yirralka rangers to see first hand the impacts various weeds could have on the environment and culture.

“There is 9000 sq km of pristine environment across the Laynhapuy homelands that need to be protected for future generations,” Mr Barrow said.

VET lecturer with CDU’s Office of Indigenous Leadership, Michael Hicks also attended the expedition to record the range of skills developed and demonstrated by Indigenous rangers in order to create teaching resources in Yolngu Maths and English.

“The resources will be used to teach young Aboriginal people and other rangers about the role of rangers, identifying plant incursions and the value of being a ranger as a long-term career,” Mr Hicks said.

Yirralka rangers and CDU have established a very strong relationship over the past year, which has provided much needed training to equip the local rangers with the tools to successfully manage their own country.