Ranger Team Exchanges

The IDA supports Indigenous ranger teams working in the desert to undertake exchanges. Ranger exchanges support professional capacity development of desert rangers by maintaining connections between rangers working across the desert (and elsewhere in Australia) and by providing a platform for exchange of information and enhancement of skills and knowledge.

Ranger teams who undertake exchanges report back at the annual IDA conference during ranger to ranger sessions.

The IDA is pleased to announce the following ranger team exchanges for 2022:

Punmu Womens Rangers (PWR) and Akeyulerre Healing Centre
Following a trip the Punmu Women Rangers (Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa) took to Alice Springs in 2017, Akeyulerre Healing Centre has extended an invitation for PWR to join one of their frequently held healing camps to learn more about how Arrernte traditional knowledge and practices are being maintained through language and camps, as well as creating a viable commercial production of bush medicine.

Gooniyandi and Kiwirrkurra Rangers Bilby and Feral Cat Management
The Gooniyandi Rangers will improve upon their skills in managing Bilbies as a threatened species and cats as a feral predator. The undertaking of a trip from Fitzroy Crossing to Kiwirrkurra also provides an opportunity to build on operational and planning abilities in the team while developing relationships with industry peers. A Kiwirrkurra to Gooniyandi return trip will further build upon the new relationship and skills.

Ngururrpa and Nyul Nyul Rangers
Ngururrpa Rangers will travel from Balgo to Nyul Nyul Country with activities focused on recording cultural knowledge and looking for Bilbies. Ngururrpa will also take part in cultural knowledge exchange and tjukurrpa recording, learning more about the mission history that connected these two groups including going to Sisters of St John of God Heritage Centre and looking up historical records and photographs of the very early Balgo days, as well as reconnecting with family.

Warnpurru, Birriliburu, and Kiwirkurra Rangers
Warnpurru intend to travel to Birriliburu and Kiwirrkurra on separate occasions to undertake on-country presentations, shared demonstration activities and workshopping that will provide the platform for peer-to-peer learning as they continue development of their new ranger program.

Warru and Nyikina Mangala Rangers (NM)
Warru Rangers will travel from APY to Nyikina Mangala country to work with Nyikina Mangala Rangers. The work will focus primarily on methodologies for the management and monitoring of warru/wiliji and on fire management. Warru Rangers have a long-running and highly developed program for the management of warru, and the NM Rangers have expressed a strong interest in learning what they can from the experiences of the Warru Rangers for the management of their own wallaby populations.

What are ranger team exchanges?

It might be that be that a group is just starting out on their journey to develop a ranger team. One of the best ways for new or emerging ranger teams to understand more about the job is to spend time with a group who has been doing ranger work on their country for a while. For instance, a few members of a group that is just starting out might accompany a ranger team on a typical work week. It is a bit like work experience.

We have also heard that many of you would like the opportunity to undertake exchanges with groups from outside of the desert who are doing similar work, but in a different environment.

We like the idea too and think that this is a good way for desert rangers to feel connected to the work that rangers are doing across Australia, learn new skills and to access broader support networks. These are just some examples but we are keen to hear what you are interested in doing!

If you are interested in undertaking a ranger exchange please contact the IDA at and ask for a copy of the funding application and guidelines.

Recent ranger team exchanges

Island Way, Desert Way - Kiwirrkurra and li-Anthawirriyarra Rangers share cat management knowledge

In July 2021, the Kiwirrkurra rangers drove 2,000kms across from the Gibson Desert (WA) to the Gulf of Carpentaria (NT) to meet with the li-Anthawirriyarra sea rangers.

This exchange was sponsored by the IDA and enabled the two ranger groups to exchange knowledge about their cat management techniques and learn more about each other’s culture.

The li-Anthawirriyarra sea rangers were proud to show Mumathumburu (West Island) to the Kiwirrkurra rangers and how they conducted small mammal surveys and deployed Felixer traps as well as introducing them to a range of new bush tucker items!

Marrngumili Warrarn Muwarr Pirraja - Sharing Desert Stories

Nyangumarta rangers travelled to Kiwirrkurra and participate in an exchange with Kiwirrkurra and Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Rangers from Borroloola over four days in mid-August 2021.

Kiwirrkurra Rangers demonstrated Tjalapa (Great Desert Skink) identification and monitoring. Li-Anthawirriyarra and Kiwirrkurra Rangers showed how to track and trap feral cats. Nyangumarta Rangers demonstrated how to dig trenches and identify Marsupial Mole holes in the dunes.

Ngururrpa and Ngurrara Ranger Team Exchange

Ngururrpa and Ngurrara ranger teams spent seven days together sharing biodiversity knowledge and skills in the Great Sandy Desert. Rangers shared knowledge in how to check traps, identify similar species, handle animals and take measurements.

Ranger exchange reports

Kiwirrkurra and Li-Anthawirriyarra Rangers

Jigalong Rangers and Birriliburu Rangers Cross Border Fire Management Exchange

Nyangumarta, Kiwirrkurra and li-Anthawirriyarra Rangers

Ngurra Kayanta

Gingirana and Tjiwarl

Kulyakartu and Nyangumarta

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