Living and working in Arnhem Land comes with a unique set of challenges. The terrain is rough, with vast tracts of land covered by rocky outcrops and gorges. Dirt roads are few and far between, and require constant maintenance. The conditions are highly variable, with up to six months of wet season per year, causing ephemeral rivers to rise, cutting off road access. Services, including food stores and medical care, are only accessible by a long drive in the dry-season or otherwise by plane, and infrastructure is limited.
Indigenous communities living in very remote locations across Australia are leading national conservation efforts on Indigenous land. In the Northern Territory alone, three quarters of Indigenous peoples are living in areas classified as remote or very remote. Ranger bases are scattered across such communities, acting as hubs of activity for species conservation, fire management and the continuation of cultural knowledge.
'Foodplane manme kamkan bu kudjewk, minj baleh karriyime bu ngarrirengarribayahme.’
‘Foodplanes bring us food and supplies. It is important, especially during the wet season, where there is nowhere to go to buy food in outstations because we have no shop.’
Support for remote communities is inadequate to meet the challenges. The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust with the support of Simplot Australia funds critical infrastructure and service provision to ensure rangers can continue to live on Country and undertake the critical work that they do.