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Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program

The Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program cares for land and sea country and increases the participation of Indigenous people in environmental management.

Indigenous land and sea rangers are currently contracted to 17 regional communities throughout Queensland.

Land and sea rangers are employed through local Indigenous host organisations, with funding provided by the Queensland Government. The ranger program is managed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

Funding for new ranger positions

The 2017 State Budget provided a funding boost for the Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program, to bring the number of rangers to 100 across Queensland over the next four years.

Expressions of interest in funding for the 25 new Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger positions closed on 9 November 2017 and are currently being assessed. Short-listed organisations will be contacted in the near future and invited to submit detailed applications. 

For more information about the terms and conditions of the program and about the application process please read the Guidelines (PDF, 368KB).

For further information about the program please contact the program office on (07) 3330 5553 or email

Video transcript


The Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger program is instrumental in managing the land, waterways and protected species across the state. Land and sea rangers work in regional communities throughout Queensland. Their activities are tailored to meet local needs which are negotiated by the communities, local landholders, government and Traditional Owners. To achieve environmental outcomes and raise awareness of the importance of looking after country, land and sea rangers work closely with local authorities, pastoralists, schools and community groups. The land and sea rangers are a great source of pride throughout Queensland’s Indigenous communities and they are an important part of a strong and stable Indigenous workforce, with many rangers also Traditional Owners of the land on which they work.

Training and support

There is a strong emphasis on providing relevant and appropriate training and support to rangers to equip them with the skills and knowledge to look after their local natural environment. EHP program staff work with local coordinators to develop training plans that are relevant and specific to the needs of each ranger group and individual rangers. Ranger coordinators and EHP Program staff work together to develop the rangers’ skills in areas including leadership, team work and operational planning. Mentoring of rangers by traditional owners and rangers from other communities is encouraged.

Agency work

Land and sea rangers have a close working relationship with state and federal government agencies, including the Department of National Parks, Recreation Sports and racing, the Customs and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and the Australian Government’s Working on Country program. Ranger groups work closely with a range of partner agencies to effectively manage pests, weeds and animals, conduct biodiversity surveys and monitor for illegal activities.

Junior Ranger program

The Junior Ranger program introduces school students to land and sea management. Working directly with rangers, students get first-hand experience and learn about managing the natural environment through classroom activities and field experiences. Land and sea rangers regularly assist with school camps, classroom activities and community events. A variety of educational activities and resources including lesson plans for teachers are available on the Junior Ranger program website. All activities and learning outcomes are aligned to the Australian school curriculum.

The Ranger’s role

Ranger activities are tailored to meet local needs and are negotiated by the communities, local landholders, government and Traditional Owners. Land and sea ranger activities can include:

  • weeds and feral animal management
  • fire management
  • biodiversity surveys of local species and habitats
  • conservation of cultural sites and stories
  • support for local disaster recovery efforts
  • visitor management and education
  • assistance with the management of national parks.

Land and sea rangers work closely with local authorities, pastoralists, schools and community groups to achieve environmental outcomes and raise awareness of the importance of looking after country.

Achievements and outcomes

The achievements of the program to date are significant. It continues to successfully deliver on planned activities and program outcomes, with clear evidence these activities lead to wider environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits.

Environmental outcomes

  • Improved weed and pest control, including removal of tens of thousands of pest plants and animals.
  • Increased community involvement in environmental management and protection.
  • Better vegetation management, including more than 5 million hectares protected through improved fire management.

Social outcomes

  • Self-esteem for Indigenous rangers.
  • Educating and inspiring future generations through the Junior Ranger program.
  • Widespread community support for ranger groups.

    Cultural outcomes

    • Increased Indigenous access to traditional lands.
    • Protection of cultural assets by managing threats, including through fencing of wetlands and culturally sensitive areas.
    • Increased Indigenous knowledge transfer.

    Economic outcomes

    • Full time employment opportunities in remote Queensland communities.
    • Increased skills and capacity of land and sea rangers through training and support.
    • Continued and diverse investment in the ranger program and host communities.
    • Increased economic opportunities in remote parts of Queensland, including development of fee-for-service work.

    Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers

    Ranger locations

    View the locations of our Indigenous rangers.

    Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
    Last updated
    14 November 2017
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