• Lisa Elliott

Karrkad Kanjdji Trust

Strong women, healthy country - supporting women’s ranger programs in West and Central Arnhem Land


Contact Name Stacey Irving CEO Email stacey.irving@kkt.org.au Address 71C Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, VIC 3057 Phone Number 0448 638 781


Charity website www.kkt.org.au DGR Registration Link https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View?abn=98502331587 ACNC Page Link https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/381c0036af5ad5b5bf4171aeb9c30b2e

Please provide a brief, two sentence overview of the project that requires funding.

Together with our partners, KKT is strengthening the role of women in Indigenous ranger programs. We are working with our partners to create employment opportunities and pathways for women that incorporate important cultural knowledge and results in conservation, community and cultural heritage outcomes.


Overview of Organisation The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (KKT) works with Indigenous Ranger groups in one Australia’s most culturally rich and biodiverse regions - West and Central Arnhem Land. KKT brings together ranger groups, communities and philanthropists to address some of our nation’s most pressing issues, including environmental conservation, education and employment. Our work is both unique and respectful, in that each project we partner on is 100 percent community driven, from concept to implementation. Our partners (Warddeken Land Management Limited, Djelk Rangers, Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation and Adjumarllarl Rangers) care for over 50,000 square kilometres of land and sea country. Over the past four years working with communities, we have developed a simple yet highly effective model founded on an Indigenous approach to conservation. Our six areas of focus are: Biodiversity - native species conservation Women - meaningful ranger employment Culture - management of heritage Education - on country, bicultural programs Community - sustainability of remote ranger bases Climate - carbon abatement and traditional burning The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (KKT) was established by the Traditional Owners of Warddeken and Djelk Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) in 2010. The name they gave us, Karrkad Kanjdji (pronounced gar-gut gun-jee), refers to the stone country highlands and savanna lowlands of Arnhem Land in Kunwinjku language. Our vision is that current and future generations of bininj (Indigenous people) and balanda (non-Indigenous people) can work together to support the sustainability of land management and cultural heritage work, while enabling the ongoing self determination of the people of West and Central Arnhem Land.


Describe the project that requires funding:

Indigenous Protected Areas form close to half of Australia’s National Reserve System (NRS) and protect three-quarters of known threatened species. Managing these areas is a tremendous task for Indigenous rangers, who receive a fraction (6%) of the NRS budget. This project is aimed at building the capacity of two Indigenous Land Management organisations to effectively look after their country by strengthening women’s ranger programs.


Historically, ranger programs in Arnhem Land were established by men and focused on critical land management practices like controlling feral species and wildfire. In 2016 KKT’s partners recognised that there was an underrepresentation of women in the workforce, and due to insufficient government funding available, we turned to philanthropy to rectify this. Together with Warddeken Rangers and Mimal Rangers we are establishing and maintaining coordinated programs to engage women. Such programs not only increases equality in the region, but broadens the scope of conservation and cultural work by incorporating the knowledge that women hold.


Women have a number of integral roles and responsibilities in Indigenous land management. Without skilled and supported women’s ranger teams, country will not be managed properly, women’s in-depth cultural and ecological knowledge will be threatened and species will be at greater risk of extinction.


Over the year ahead, teams of women across roughly 34,000 km2 of country will work towards achieving the vision of Traditional Owners as set out in their Aboriginal Corporation’s Healthy Country Plans (can provide upon request). They will do so by :

- Recording and analysing ecological data on native species

- Undertaking traditional burning to improve habitat and decrease carbon emissions

- Documenting and protecting fragile rock art galleries

- Providing cultural and land management lessons for children and young people


In addition to the conservation and cultural outcomes of the work, the project aims are:

- More equitable employment for women in the Warddeken IPA

- Training opportunities for women

- Increased confidence amongst women engaged in the ranger program

- Positive female role models for girls and young women


Government funding levels are insufficient for the task of running remote and large scale Indigenous owned conservation and cultural heritage programs. KKT and our partners harness philanthropic funding to cover key gaps in government funding, making the women’s ranger movement a reality. Funding from the Pool of Dreams sub fund of Community Impact Foundation is needed to support women on Nawarddeken, Rembarrnga, Dalabon and Mayili country in West and Central Arnhem Land. Costs supported by KKT include coordinator salaries (three across our partners), training, additional ranger wages, and operational costs.

Please describe any collaboration you have had with other organisations in relation to this project: KKT has works closely with two partner groups on this project: Warddeken Land Management Ltd: Project Partner Warddeken is a founding partner of KKT and we are currently working together on five major programs spanning biodiversity, women, culture, education and community. Warddeken is an Aboriginal owned Corporation responsible for managing the 13,950 km2 Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area in West Arnhem Land. Warddeken’s vision ‘Our vision is to have our healthy people living and working on our healthy country in the Arnhem Plateau. We want the management of our land to be in our hands now, and into the future’. Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation: Project Partner Mimal has been a partner of KKT’s since 2018, when we came together to strengthen two projects, the Women’s Ranger Program and an on-country educational program for secondary school students. Mimal rangers manage 20,000 km2 of country in Central Arnhem Land that is under consideration for Indigenous Protected Area status. Mimal’s vision includes ‘People on their country with families, living on the outstations and working to take care of country’.

Funds requested from Pool of Dreams sub-fund: $15,000

Other sources of funding Support pledged for FY2021 expenditure includes:

Jibb Foundation

Klein Family Foundation

Biophilia Foundation

An anonymous foundation

Digger and Shirley Martin Environmental Fund

Australian Ethical Foundation

When would this project be expected to start? This project is ongoing, however reviewed and grown year on year. For the duration of this grant request: 1 July 2020

When would you anticipate this project to be completed? This project is ongoing, however reviewed and grown year on year. For the duration of this grant request: 30 June 2021.

Please click here for further information.

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