Kowanyama Rangers Present at the 2023 North Australia Fire Forum in Darwin

Mar 15, 2023

The Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Rangers and Councillor Teddy Bernard recently represented the Kowanyama Community at the 2023 North Australia Fire Forum in Darwin.

L-R: Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Rangers Zian Dick, Anzac Frank and Councillor Teddy Bernard.

Over 400 Indigenous Fire Practitioners from across the country attended, with Ranger teams from the Kimberly, Top End and Arnhem Land, and Cape York.

The event provided a great opportunity for attendees to network and share knowledge and saw Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council’s Rangers discussing their experiences managing fire, taking care of Country, and strengthening Indigenous culture.

After fielding some questions about last year’s wildfires at Oriners-Sefton, Zian Dick spoke of his deep-rooted pride in working on and protecting his Country.

Veteran Ranger Anzac Frank shared insight on how Fire Management should be guided by cultural knowledge. He explained that not only can Communities generate income through carbon, but also help save culture by having elders teach young people. In response to this, Kowanyama Shire Council established an Advisory Committee, which will ensure that the carbon project is designed to strengthen culture.

The Rangers’ presentation was met with great enthusiasm. People from Zambia were particularly interested in learning about the advanced Carbon Abatement Projects in Kowanyama and expressed their intention to roll out similar programs in Africa.

In addition to representing Kowanyama at the forum, Cr. Teddy Bernard is also looking to become a Director on the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network (ICIN) Board. This is an Indigenous-led organisation that seeks to create policies and initiatives that will benefit Indigenous people in the carbon industry.

As Cr. Teddy Bernard said: “This is a really important industry for Indigenous people. It’s a way for us to take care of our country and generate jobs for our communities. I’m very excited about the chance to help shape the future of the sector.”

His application is currently being considered for approval, and all of us here at Kowanyama wish him the best of luck!

The team also enjoyed some social activities, such as a sunset at the Darwin Boat Club and a seafood buffet at the Jetty. All in all, it was an enriching and rewarding experience for everyone involved!