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TSRA funds vessel for Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers

Vonda Malone TSRA CEO, Cr. Eliziah Wasaga KNTAC Chairperson and Darlene Fell Project Manager Economic Development TSRA

A Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) investment of $350,000 has helped the Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (KNTAC) buy its first ranger vessel – Njinjilki – to boost local efforts in caring for land, sea and culture.

On Tuesday (5 December), rangers and representatives joined community at a blessing ceremony opened by KNTAC Chairperson Eliziah Wasaga and performed by Pastor Moses Warria on Ngurupai (Horn Island).

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM said the ranger vessel – fully funded by TSRA – would support local economic, environmental and cultural aspirations.

“This direct, practical investment by TSRA into our region and our people will enable economic development and jobs to protect land and sea for future generations,” Mr Stephen said.

“Our funding acknowledges the important work of Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers across the inner islands of the Torres Strait.”

Speaking at the event, TSRA CEO Vonda Malone said the TSRA’s investment would strengthen an ongoing partnership and shared priorities in environmental management.

“Since 2022, the TSRA has proudly sponsored the establishment of the Kaurareg Ranger Program and has worked appropriately and extensively with the Kaurareg Traditional Owners for the sustainability of the program,” Ms Malone said.

“This ranger vessel funded by TSRA provides critical transport for the rangers to commute around the many islands in the Kaiwalagal and inner islands with ease to better manage Country.”

Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation General Manager Jodi-rae Mills said the vessel would support safety and efficiency for rangers at sea.

“Owning and operating our own ranger vessel has been an aspiration for so many before me, such as the first Kaurareg Rangers, who are now our Elders; here with us today.  TSRA has helped us to realise this dream and I feel blessed to have played a small role in that,” Ms Mills said.

“This is an historic achievement for the Kaurareg Nation and a proud moment for our Elders, young people and communities to see our Ranger program gaining momentum again and empowering our Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers to carry out important work in our waters.

“This project demonstrates our strong partnership with TSRA and we are grateful for the support of our vision to deliver a sustainable, inner island ranger program for stronger, positive futures for Kaurareg people.”

The Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation wishes to also thank Sea Swift, the Wongai Hotel and CEQ for their generous donations and Wai Reka Catering who all contributed to the overall success of the blessing event.

Kaurareg Rangers will use the vessel to patrol the extensive Kaurareg land and sea country, focusing on vital tasks such as conservation, monitoring and sustainability.

In addition to enabling the procurement and purchase of the Ranger vessel, part of the TSRA funding has gone towards compliance and safety equipment, essential upgrades and initial insurance.

The TSRA has also initiated shared resourcing from its successful and longstanding Torres Strait Ranger program.

The Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers program looks after more than 240 square kilometres of land and sea within the Kaiwalagal Archipelago or inner Torres Strait islands.

Vessel fast facts:

  • 12-metre vessel.
  • Propulsion: 2 x 175 hp outboard motors.
  • 26 passenger capacity.

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  • TSRA funds vessel for Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers
  • TSRA funds vessel for Kaurareg Land and Sea Rangers
  • Children
  • Ella Miskin, Kaurareg Elder with Cr. Wasaga and Kaurareg Rangers
  • Father and Son - Saliman Bin Juda Snr, Kaurareg Ranger Coordinator and Joseph Bin Juda, Kaurareg Ranger
  • Rosaline Tomsana and Ella Miskin, Kaurareg Elder
  • Saliman Bin Juda, Kaurareg Ranger Coordinator and Vonda Malone, TSRA CEO
  • Taina Miskin, Kaurareg Elder and James Ah Mat, Kaurareg Ranger
  • Mrs Ivy Wasaga and Mr Kusa Wasaga, Kaurareg Ranger

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