Junior rangers exchange cultural knowledge

Australia’s future Indigenous land managers have taken part in a cultural exchange where they learnt about one another’s environments and traditions.

In September junior rangers from Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park welcomed their coastal counterparts, junior rangers from the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community in Booderee National Park, on the New South Wales coast.

In October Booderee’s kids were able to return the favour – and host their friends from Central Australia.

_The Black Rock to Red Rock Exchange takes place every two years_

The children shared Tjukurpa (cultural law), learned about local bush foods and tools, and explored the differences between desert and saltwater environments.

Booderee’s youngsters ate kangaroo tail, and visited elders in the Mutitjulu community. Uluru’s junior rangers sampled lobster and abalone, watched whales and took a surfing lesson.

_For some junior rangers, it was the first time they had seen the sea_

There was plenty of fun and plenty to learn about the different ways the parks are managed. The children all found the experience enormously rewarding. It’s a fabulous way to nurture the future of our jointly managed parks, build friendships in the next generation, and ensure our parks continue to be held in excellent hands.

The Black Rock to Red Rock Exchange won the Kevin McLeod Reconciliation Award which aims to advance reconciliation. The award was established in 2010 to honour the memory of Kevin McLeod, a long-term employee of the Department of the Environment. Kevin was an exemplary role model to young people and worked passionately to improve their future.

_Booderee's Bernie McLeod shows the junior rangers some traditional uses for Booderee’s plants_

Our sincere thanks to everyone in the community, from schools to local businesses, who helped make the exchange such a success.

Katrina, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park