It has been a busy few months for the Nyiyaparli Ranger Program. Some key achievements include:

  • Three more of the team becoming qualified drone Pilots – congratulations to Jayleen Anthony, Jasmine Anthony, and Jason Anthony Jnr on your RePL Drone Pilot accreditation.
  • A pilot Kids on Country camp which saw 30 kids and 30 adults participate in on Country language and 2-way science learning activities.
  • Participation in PCLMP strategic planning workshops
  • Presentations at the Biodiversity Conference in Perth about the Nyiyaparli Ranger Program and the Pilbara Cultural Land Management Project (PCLMP).
  • Carol-Anne Tucker and Noel Taylor, participating in The Big Mob, STEM it up podcast series.

RePL Drone Accreditation

Across 10 days in September, Jayleen Anthony, Jasmine Anthony, and Jason Anthony Jnr from the Nyiyaparli Ranger team completed their drone training program which saw them gain their RePL (Remote Pilot Licence), AROC (Aeronautical Radio Operators Certificate) and Sub 25kg endorsement.

All participants passed their Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) exams and practical assessments, an outstanding effort! A lot of hard work was put in by all over the 10 days to practice skills, build flying confidence, and learn what was needed for the RePL CASA Certification. Well done team and we at KNAC are super proud of your achievements!! 

These new skills will be put into practice in early November when the ranger team pilots a vegetation and aquatic survey project with Roy Hill as part of a land management partnership on Roy Hill Station.

A special thanks to Danielle from Winyama for bringing this training to fruition, your expertise, and your logistical efforts. Thanks also Mark from Global Drone solutions for your knowledge and training assistance, in helping the team through the accreditation process.

Pilot Kids on Country

A huge milestone was achieved by the Nyiyaparli Ranger Program with the establishment of the Kids on Country program!

The first ever pilot camp was hosted by Nyiyaparli rangers at 14 mile, Fortescue Marsh, from the 25-29 September 2023, the first week of the school holidays. The idea of establishing a Kids on Country program came through lots of yarning about what Nyiyaparli want for people and Country.

Transferring knowledge to younger Nyiyaparli is a priority identified within the Nyiyaparli People and Country Plan, with the goal of a Kids on Country program to engage young Nyiyaparli in on-country learning, building confidence and contributing to improved cultural wellbeing.

The first pilot Kids on Country camp has been in planning for a long time, and it was wonderful to see this incredible program finally launched, with over 30 children and 30 adults in attendance.

The Nyiyaparli Ranger Team, staff and support arrived on Sunday to set up the camp at 14 Mile. Families started arriving from Sunday through to Monday morning. The set up was hard work but created a hub for the week with an activity area, camp kitchen, theatre, sporting grounds and showering facilities.

The Nyiyaparli Living Languages Project team kicked off activities for the week with a Nyiyaparli body parts session. A sheet with Nyiyaparli words for key body and face parts was handed out. Peter Yuline and Cheryl Yuline helped the kids say the words before the games began and prizes were handed out. Kids who were enthusiastically trying to say Nyiyaparli words were rewarded with a prize. It was great to see the kids with their aunties, uncles, nanna’s, pop’s, mums, dads, brothers and sisters learning and laughing together.

Lunch times were very hot and meant moving to the water for a swim in the marsh. A stand-up paddle (SUP) provided a lot of entertainment for the kids. Some of the older girls took to make up artistry through the “Nyiyaparli day spa’’ with mud masks.

The afternoon saw 10 kids drones unpackaged, charged up and flown for the first time. The windy conditions didn’t stop the kids having a go but did result in a couple of retrieves from the trees!

Basketball and footy carried the kids over until dinner thanks to camp cook Dan.

Water bugs were first up on Wednesday morning. KNAC’s Cultural Adviser, Micheal Stream, gave an introduction to the kids about where we were and the importance of the Marsh to Nyiyaparli. Kids were then split into four groups and tasked with scooping through the shallows to catch the bugs. They were put into a tray with water in and WOW the number of bugs that came out was amazing.

The kids had a look at the bugs they could see in their tray and then took them over to the microscope and identifying table. With help, the kids were able to identify the different types of bugs and look at them closely in a container or under the microscope.

Lunch time saw another hot day and a willy willy take out all of the gazebos but didn’t stop another swim and SUP.

In the afternoon shade near the water, a music workshop was set up led by staff, some of the Nyiyaparli ladies and Nyiyaparli musician and Ranger Project Officer, Noel. The kids got to have a go playing with different musical instruments like bongo drums, maracas, tambourines and keyboard. The adults gathered around too and helped the kids think of all the things they’d been doing on the trip. As they yelled out their ideas, the kids started to put together lines and in minutes the first verse of a song was created. The ideas kept coming and the second verse was put together. Noel had pre worked on music to sing along to and played this through his phone. Noel and the kids had a go at singing the words and the Nyiyaparli kids song took shape. Keep an eye out for the launch of the song soon!

Rangers Carol-Lee and Beverley led a bush walk in the afternoon looking for Bardi’s (witchetty grub) and bush onions. Showing the kids what to look out for, like the sprouts, to know where bush onions were and how to rub them in your hands to take the shell off. Carol-Lee pointed out the types of shrubs where Bardi’s hide in the roots and how to carefully look for the droppings at the base of the plant. The kids went off hunting for Bardi’s and had a go at cutting the roots open. We found a few small ones and ate them straight away!

Telescopes were set up throughout the week and Wednesday night saw the clouds clear up perfect for looking at the stars. Until the movie came on of course!

The final day of the camp included another drone race with an obstacle course set up. Although it was too windy to fly through the course, kids had a go at taking off, landing and flying around. Some kids found turtle shells around the water and turned this into an art project. The results were amazing!

Another swim rounded out the day before everyone waited for it to cool down and began packing up their camps. Everyone came together around the fire in the evening, a perfect way to finish off a great week!

Save to say, the pilot Kids on Country was a great success, with a few lessons learnt along the way. Kids were connecting with and learning about their Country and language. For some this was the first time they had ever been on Country or to 14 Mile. People talked about how for the first time in a while lots of families were coming together and camping on Nyiyaparli Country. And Rangers were proud, wearing their uniforms and grew confidence in leading activities.

Kids on Country is a priority of the 10-year Nyiyaparli People and Country Plan. There will be another trip next year that we hope builds on this trial trip.

If you have any ideas or questions, please send them through to Mel or Noel at land.management@karlka.com.au and rppo@karlka.com.au to include in planning for 2024!

Nyiyaparli Rangers Present at the Biodiversity Conference

Across the second week in October, representatives from five Pilbara ranger programs attended, including the Nyiyaparli Rangers, attended the Biodiversity Conference in Perth.

The theme for the conference was ‘Listen to Country’.

Ranger Project Officer, Noel Taylor, and Rangers Carol-Anne Tucker and Jayleen Anthony presented to over 350 attendees about the Nyiyaparli Ranger Program.

The talk was about how Nyiyaparli Rangers are using technology to bring old knowledge to a new world. Noel and Carol-Anne

After an introduction to Nyiyaparli Country by Noel, Carol-Anne talked about how the ranger program was developed through lots of yarning on Country, and the creation of our People and Country Plan. Noel followed, presenting on the recent drone training, the use of Web ODM software to map Country, and the upcoming multi-spectral vegetation monitoring collaborative project at Fortescue Marsh.  

Jayleen spoke about the recent Kids on Country trip and the collaboration with the Nyiyaparli Living Language team in scoping the development of a language based smart phone game, and Carol-Anne and Jayleen together ended the presentation with a demonstration of the Jirntalpa Karnti, Nyiyaparli Flora Book, which using Augmented Reality to visually tell the story associated with important bush foods.

Carol-Anne also co-presented the Pilbara Cultural Land Management Project (PCLMP) presentation alongside Yindjibarndi Ranger Coordinator, Lindsay Councillor, and PCLMP Coordinator, Ebony Humble. The presentation talked about how ten Pilbara ranger groups are uniting through the PCLMP to support each other through the sharing of knowledge, resources and opportunities to care for Country.

7News Regional WA were so interested in the collaboration that they also interviewed Carol-Anne and Lindsay. Here’s a link: http://lnkd.in/gQv2RdMB

Congratulations to Noel, Carol-Anne and Jayleen. We are super proud of you!

The Big Mob, STEM it Up Podcast Series

While in Perth for the Biodiversity Conference, Noel and Carol-Anne were interviewed by researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) for the Big Mob, STEM it Up podcast series.

The podcast series aims to hear the stories of Indigenous people working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), including rangers who bring traditional science knowledge to the work they do. The series looks to share lived experiences, challenges and successes of those that are interviewed.

Ultimately, the research, of which the podcast is a part of, hopes to gain insight which can be shared with government to inform future policy, regarding what works and what is successful in supporting meaningful recruitment and retainment for Indigenous peoples in STEM. The central research question of this project is: How can we support the participation of Indigenous peoples in STEM?

Keep a look out for the launch of Noel and Carol-Anne’s podcast soon!

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