Bunya Mountains Murri Rangers
Located in south east Queensland, the Bunya Mountains hold immense cultural and environmental significance. They are home to a unique assemblage of plants, animals and ecosystems including more than 30 rare and threatened species. The mountains are also one of the few places in south east Queensland where an Aboriginal fire managed cultural landscape is evident.
For many thousands of years, Aboriginal people from across the region gathered roughly every three years on the mountains for the Bonye Bonye festival, a celebration of the bountiful harvest of the Bunya Pines that abound on the mountain. This was a time of feasting, ceremony, dispute settlement, marriage and trade.
The Bunya Mountain Murri Rangers program employs four full time Rangers and one Ranger Coordinator to maintain areas of traditional importance on the mountain. The team helps conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the Bunya Mountains. Their duties include general wildlife management, cultural site management and management of the threatened grassland bald ecosystems which developed as a direct result of traditional Aboriginal burning practices. The Rangers also engage Indigenous communities and youth about the cultural heritage and traditional connections to Country on the Bunya Mountains.
It is an award winning initiative winning the 2011 State and the 2012 National Leighton's Holding Indigenous Landcare Award.
The success of the Bunya Mountains Murri Ranger is due to the partnership between Bunya Peoples Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Downs Regional Council, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Burnett Mary Regional Group, working together to promote the Aboriginal history of the area and help reconnect country and culture.