Wheatbelt NRM’s Noongar Budjar Rangers are healing country by expanding into the blossoming native seed collection industry.
The rangers are currently getting on the job training in native seed collection and new equipment to clean and process seed.
This month they were out on country in the Wandoo Forest to collect seed for revegetation projects through the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Native Vegetation Offsets Fund.
The Noongar Budjar Rangers will now be better equipped to provide their services in seed collection for governments, private landholders and mine site revegetation projects.
Traineeship graduate Tarkyn Narrier, one of the youngest rangers at just 17, said the work he is doing would make his ancestors and elders proud.
“I think it’s important for me, as a young Aboriginal teenager growing up in Northam, to get out of town and learn a lot of knowledge about seeds,” he said.
“Especially for our ancestors, when you’re out in the field you sense they’re there watching us, doing all these good things for our country.”
Ranger supervisor Jermaine Davis Jr said seed collection projects helped support the return of the country to its natural state.
“I feel I’m doing my part in restoring country, especially with all the fires going through,” he said.
“It would be good to get some of that seed and plant that elsewhere.
“Culturally it means a lot – you can see the bushland coming back looking healthy and animals you haven’t seen for a while.”
Operating since 2014, the Noongar Budjar Rangers are gaining new work all the time and have expanded significantly in recent years.
It has grown from a small team to provide on-country employment for about 20 Ballardong men and women.
“It obviously holds a big spot in my heart,” Davis Jr said. “It was my first job and I’ve been here since, which obviously shows I’m happy where I am.
“When I first started we didn’t have a lot of work and now we’ve got work left, right and centre.”