26 September 2023

Underwater experience a boost for rangers

Start the conversation

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Indigenous rangers have been given the chance to learn how to scuba dive and gain hands-on experience caring for the Great Barrier Reef.

The project is part of the Reef Joint Field Management Program, funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments.

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Meaghan Scanlon said that to date 16 Indigenous rangers from 10 Traditional Owner groups had undertaken diver training on Gunggandji and Yirrganydji Sea Country in Cairns, as part of the program.

“First Nations communities have been the custodians of their Country for more than 50,000 years, including on the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Scanlon said.

“It’s only right that we continue to support opportunities for First Nations Peoples to care for Country and support their ambitions.”

She said the open water and advanced diver training started Indigenous rangers on a journey to be able to conduct in-water works on Sea Country such as Reef Health and Impact Surveys, reef rehabilitation, crown-of-thorns starfish surveillance and visitor infrastructure maintenance.

Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek said the diving skills learnt by the rangers could evolve into future opportunities, including job opportunities.

“For some, this was the first time they had ever been scuba diving,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Most importantly, it means that our First Nations rangers have the skills needed to manage their Sea Country into the future, in partnership with Government.”

The Reef Joint Field Management Program is run in partnership by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.