The NSW Government has launched a new Aboriginal Ranger Program designed to enhance Aboriginal peoples’ connection to country and provide meaningful career pathways.

The $5.95 million initiative will create employment and training opportunities for communities across the state, while also increasing the inclusion of traditional land management practices in on-ground projects.

The Rangers will work on key parts of the Local Land Services operation, including assisting landholders with livestock health, pests and weeds, biosecurity matters, native vegetation, and managing travelling stock routes.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the program is being delivered across multiple Local Land Services regions including the Riverina and Central West areas which encompass a large portion of the Cootamundra electorate.

“22 new Aboriginal staff will be recruited, including 16 trainee rangers based in local towns, and it’s so great we could be a part of it,” Ms Cooke said.

The program will provide Aboriginal people with culturally safe training, mentoring and support for their employment whilst also enabling them to remain local and connected to country.

“Culture and country is at the center of every Aboriginal person’s identity and this program is an amazing way to recognise that connection while also increasing workforce diversity in the region.”

Expressions of interest for the Aboriginal Ranger Program are now open. For more information, please visit: www.lls.nsw.gov.au/aboriginal-ranger