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Indigenous Rangers


The Indigenous Rangers Program (Rangers Program) assists First Nations people in managing Country according to Traditional Owners’ objectives. Indigenous rangers use traditional knowledge and cultural practices, combined with Western science, to manage land, river and sea Country and deliver environmental, cultural, social and economic development outcomes.

Through the Rangers Program, the Australian Government acknowledges and supports First Nations peoples’ unique, critical and continuing role in managing and protecting Australia’s natural and cultural heritage and is increasing investment in programs.

The government has committed to a national expansion of the Rangers Program through a grant opportunity and by developing an Indigenous Ranger Sector Strategy to guide the future growth and empowerment of Indigenous ranger organisations across Australia.

Groups are formed to deliver on Country activities including:

  • engaging with community and Traditional Owners to plan land and water management activities
  • fire management - cultural burning and bushfire mitigation
  • biodiversity conservation - habitat and threatened species management, invasive species management, freshwater and sea Country management
  • strengthening First Nations language and culture
  • cultural heritage protection and maintenance
  • intergenerational knowledge transfer, education, training and capability development
  • biosecurity monitoring
  • partnerships with research, education, philanthropic and commercial organisations
  • building and retaining employment in the Indigenous Land and Water Management sector.

Grant opportunity

As part of the Rangers Program expansion, the Australian Government has provided a grant opportunity for new organisations to join the IRP, focusing on three priorities:

  • expanding the Rangers Program footprint into places without existing ranger programs;
  • increasing the number of women rangers;
  • increasing the number of Indigenous rangers working on Indigenous Protected Areas, particularly those without rangers already.

The Rangers Program expansion grants closed on Monday 26 February 2024.

Women only ranger groups

We value the important contribution that First Nations women bring to managing Country.

Women rangers are vital in using traditional knowledge to keep Country and Culture healthy and strong. We must invest in women working on Country to ensure sacred women’s sites, Law/Lore, knowledge and songs are maintained and protected.

Currently, Indigenous women represent around a third of those employed as rangers.  This is why the government want us to prioritise applications from groups that plan to employ more women rangers or start new ‘women only’ ranger groups.

To help, we’ve set up a women’s only phone line and mailbox to provide information and answer questions about the expansion:

The women’s phone line and mailbox are staffed and managed by women only. All enquiries will be kept confidential.



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