Working on Country


In May 2009, Balkanu received funding support from the Federal Government to establish Working on Country Rangers (WoC)  program.  Balkanu was instrumental in establishing  Indigenous Ranger Services throughout the communities.  The first group started in January 2010 with Kalan Rangers (Toolka Land Trust); then followed the set up of other ranger groups such as Nyungkal Rangers (Bana Yarraji), Lama Lama Rangers (Lama Lama Land Trust), Munbarra/Junjuwarra Rangers, Ayapathu/Puntumu Rangers, AakPul Ngantam/APN Rangers, Hope Vale rangers. Balkanu auspiced the funding management of the program and introduced proper infrastructure in governance, reporting, procurement, process and systems to mitigate operational risk, decision making and accountability of the program’s objectives. We initiated a number of training workshops, introduced nationwide-accredited courses for the Ranger groups and facilitated programs aimed at delivering land management practices as articulated by Traditional Owners.

Balkanu  provided training in Occupational Health and Safety,  support services in administrative and finance, business development mentorship,  skills training  in modern scientific technologies in tandem with Indigenous traditional practices.   This project brought noticeable benefits to those communities as many young people excited to be enlisted as rangers and they underwent accredited training that equipped them to manage their country.   Following this initial Indigenous Rangers program, Balkanu continued to work with other Indigenous clans to facilitate other Rangers group in other Cape York  communities, where we worked with Traditional Owners with their aspirations for manage of their land and sea country and preservation of their cultural heritage.  In addition there evolved new business economic opportunities for many Indigenous communities.

Key achievements over the 4 year term of the  ‘Working on Country Rangers’ contract, Balkanu provided governance in management, operational and financial,  training and development over 50 indigenous staff and Rangers program – their work covered:

  • Fauna and Flora environmental surveys
  • Traditional fire management
  • Fencing
  • Feral animal control
  • Invasive weeds management
  • Rehabilitation of degraded areas
  • Environment protection and management
  • Risk management
  • Cattle mustering
  • Seeking out opportunities in Tourism development


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