From 2014-2016, Warddeken staff undertook widespread Plan of Management consultations with hundreds of Traditional Owners of the Warddeken IPA. A regular outcome from these consultations was that the Traditional Owners wanted to see more roles and opportunities for women within Warddeken.
As a result, Warddeken partnered with the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust to initiate the Warddeken Daluk (Women’s) Ranger Project. The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust funds the project through generous support from the Jibb Foundation and the Klein Foundation. The project’s primary aim is to steadily increase the proportion of total hours worked by female Indigenous rangers through the engagement of a dedicated Women’s Ranger Coordinator.
After employing Georgia Vallance as the Women’s Ranger coordinator, the growth of the Daluk (Women’s) Ranger Project has exceeded expectations, reaching its third year targets by the end of the first year. A dedicated team of women, ranging from teenagers to senior elders, are now regularly engaged in Warddeken’s workforce at both Kabulwarnamyo and Manmoyi ranger bases. Women have steadily been engaged in a wider variety of important work activities, accumulating new skillsets and building confidence at a rapid pace.
Importantly, the women rangers now play an essential role in the implementation and data analysis of the Warddeken Mayh Species Recovery Project. Women rangers are also working closely with senior students at the Nawarddeken Academy on a regular basis. In this way, rangers are mentoring the next generation of daluk landowners and providing strong female leadership and role modeling within the community.
The success of the program in achieving its 3-year goal — of women accounting for 40 per cent of the total hours worked — inside of
the first project year is cause for celebration and has highlighted the next steps for this project. The current success has been achieved by a redistribution of wages funding to be more equitable.
Importantly, the women rangers now play an essential role in the implementation and data analysis of the Warddeken Mahy Species Recovery Project. Women rangers are also working closely with senior students at the Nawarddeken Academy on a regular basis. In this way, rangers are mentoring the next generation of daluk landowners and providing strong female leadership and role modeling within the community.
Building on the success to date, to achieve a higher rate of engagement by women and drive further professionalisation of the women rangers, two important next steps are required:
1. Increasing the overall wage budget for Indigenous rangers by up to 3 FTE positions, which is capable of engagingwill create the capacity to engage up to 21 Indigenous women on a casual basis.
2. Recruiting a second suitably qualified women’s ranger coordinator to train and supervise the women rangers in Warddeken’s Manmoyi ranger base, allowing Warddeken’s existing coordinator, Georgia Vallance to focus on the overall management of the project and the training and supervision of the Kabulwarnamyo- based women rangers.