The Torres Strait Ranger Project began in 2009, and has grown from one Ranger group on Mabuiag to 13 Ranger groups (over 45 Ranger positions) in 14 communities (13 outer islands) across the region.
The Ranger Project was originally funded by the Working on Country element of the Australian Government’s former Caring for our Country programme (now rolled into the National Landcare Programme). The Indigenous Rangers - Working on Country programme is now administered by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Torres Strait Ranger Project is funded under this program until June 2018, with the possibility of extension until 2020. Permanent funding for the ongoing employment of Indigenous Rangers is considered essential for land and sea management in the region.
Rangers are responsible for carrying out a variety of on-ground activities, including pest and weed control, marine debris management, surveillance and monitoring, dugong and turtle management, seagrass monitoring, cultural heritage site protection, and traditional ecological knowledge recording and management. (See Our Projects for further information).
Working on Country Plans, endorsed by Traditional Owners, are in place to guide the local cultural and natural resource management activities of Rangers.
Rangers participate in a comprehensive training program, and TSRA is exploring with partner agencies options for formalising Ranger powers under environmental legislation.