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Case study: Philanthropy leveraging change

Photos courtesy of Kimberley Land Council

Sometimes a relatively small grant can leverage far more funding and lead to significant outcomes. After the AEGN Kimberley field trip in 2014, three participants responded to a proposal from the Bardi Jawi Oorany Women Rangers. “Even though we weren’t able to fully fund the proposal, it is very gratifying that what we were able to muster has led to sustained effect” agreed Jackie Yowell, and Ann and Bruce McGregor. 

In 2014 the Bardi Jawi Oorany Women’s Ranger program was seeking $49,000 for salary and operational expenses.  After the AEGN Kimberley field trip, three funders contributed $14,000. While this was only a small portion of the budget it did make a crucial contribution towards funding a Coordinator which enabled the team to apply for a Green Army project.  Based on this initial investment we were also able to leverage further funding from Shell. Additionally, a small grant was secured to develop a native plant nursery which has connected elders and young people on traditional ecological knowledge projects. To date the Oorany Rangers have secured two further Green Army projects which will implement the Bardi Jawi Indigenous Protected Area Plan of Management, providing resources for the team to December 2017.

The Bardi Jawi Oorany Ranger program has grown to a team of 6 Rangers under the Green Army Program and offered its first formal Traineeship in April 2016.  Recruitment has seen an increase in the number of young women the team, and a long list of women interested in casual Ranger work.

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This year work has focused on targeted activities in Indigenous plant resources:  seed collection, propagation and revegetation with a focus on training in seed storage techniques and maintaining a small provenance seed bank.

The Oorangy rangers work closely with the community and lead community school activities. The senior women cultural advisors are integral to the work and participate in field trips, most recently to select additional plants that will be added to the second edition of the Bardi Jawi Oorany Rangers Plant Stories Book. The Oorany team are delivering excellent environmental and cultural outcomes for the Bardi Jawi community, and are admired role models for young people in the two local schools.