"Doing the same as we've done before won't help the world's Rangers get us to where we all need to be. So, let's be bold, creative and confident, using humour, truth and hope. Great storytelling inspires great involvement and Rangers have a great story to tell."
Sean Willmore, TGLF Founder & Director
Sean certainly knows how to rally the troops and garner support for the world's Rangers. Thank gosh he was inspired to take this message to the world by embarking on an expedition back in 2004 to create the Thin Green Line documentary.
TGLF would not exist without his remarkable efforts and continued drive to change the lives of Rangers, their families and their communities around the world.
Walking the Thin Green Line is all about telling the stories of Rangers and using this to inspire change in the way Rangers are perceived and subsequently recognised and supported.
Rangers need to be better appreciated by governments and communities to become more connected, motivated and empowered as the professionals on the frontline of conservation. We are Nature's First Responders and should be equiped, trained and recognised for the critical work we do.
Funds raised through the expedition will go to a special Oceania Fund within the Thin Green Line Foundation that will specifically support Ranger lead initiatives and opportunities in the the Oceania region.
Ranger to Ranger Projects
Ranger to Ranger training and capacity building
Twinning projects to support new and emerging Ranger Associations
Community education and support programs
Forums, webinars and other opportunities to collaborate and share experiences, knowledge and information
Sponsorship of First Nations and Indigenous Rangers & Associations
Participation in ranger exchange programmes
Improved access to the World Ranger Congress & Oceania Ranger Forum
Improved access to remote, interstate and overseas training and development opportunities
Equipment & technical support
To assist with marine and coastal protected area management and monitoring
Honouring Fallen Rangers
In the past ten years, more than 1,000 Rangers have died in the line of duty. In 2019-2020 a reported 156 Rangers died while on duty, although the number is thought to be much higher.
About one third of these deaths were attributed to homicides committed by poachers, other illegal hunters, or militia. Timber poachers are responsible for an increasing number of fatalities. Working in remote areas, many Rangers have dies in motor vehicle accidents, drownings and fighting fires.
In hiking 1km for every ranger on the 2022-2023 International Ranger Federation Roll of Honour I hope to raise awareness for the risks Rangers face everyday and honour the lives, contributions and sacrifices of fallen rangers.
The hike aims to highlight the vital importance of the Fallen Ranger Fund in supporting families of fallen rangers and providing assistance to Rangers in emergency situations.
Connection, Recognition & Appreciation
The thing I loved most about being a member of the South Australian Ranger Association was the opportunity to meet other rangers and gather once a year for our 'Annual Migration' where we collaborated, shared experiences and skills and spent time with those who understood and dealt with the same challenges every day.
The benefits of those gatherings for Ranger welfare and mental health, as well as team effectiveness, were immense and I believe a big part of why I love my job so much - it's hard not to be inspired by genuine living legends.
By comparison, Rangers from other areas and organisations I've worked with who haven't had those same opportunities seem to struggle with their mental health and team morale and rarely get to collaborate with other Rangers.
Rangers roles are diverse, dynamic and wonderfully rewarding but also extremely challenging.
We are land and infrastructure managers, cultural heritage custodians, fire fighters, animal carers, volunteer managers, guides, researchers, compliance officers, search and rescue responders, weed and pest animal specialists, remote first aiders, customer service offices and facility cleaners.
We help people on the worst day of their lives when they or their loved one is lost or injured, and grieve with those who's friend or family member has lost their life in our park. We care for, and some times have to euthanise, injured and suffering animals. We work in dangerous situations fighting fires and responding to natural disasters like storms and floods. We undertake compliance operations during which we can face physical danger, abuse from the public and even threats to our family or teams welfare from those who would benefit from the proceeds of organised crime. We are passionate conservationists, animal lovers and community members who feel every death, environmental disaster and political decisions personally because we are Rangers.
We feel personally responsible for the future of the parks, species and cultural heritage we protect.
Few people understand this reality. I want to change that.
Through Walking the Thin Green Line I hope to bring the Rangers of Oceania into the hearts and minds of the public and back into the centre of the conservation conversation. By following the journey you will meet some of these amazing Rangers, experience the diverse and beautiful ecosystems and landscapes of Oceania they protect and better understand what you can do to help look after our natural and cultural heritage.
At present, Rangers in Oceania rarely have the opportunity to collaborate outside their own organisation, across geographical boundaries, and even between teams. CORA and TGLF need your support to work with Rangers and protected area agencies to explore and break down barriers to collaboration and create real and meaningful opportunities to share experiences, knowledge and information.
Collaboration and sharing between Rangers, their employers and their communities will strengthen Ranger skills and morale. A more collaborative and proactive culture, cross-sector partnerships and better communication between stakeholders will greatly improve recognition, involvement and respect for Rangers from the local to global scale.
By creating a more collaborate and inclusive working environment, participation and leadership by women, Indigenous and Community Rangers will increase and contribute to better supported and engaged local communities and improved conservation outcomes.
Join me in supporting the Rangers of Oceania, and indeed the world.
“We have to get on with the shift to sustainability, building on social concern around issues such as climate change. At the end of the day, conservation happens on the ground. We need to find ways of engaging the youth to work towards leaving the Earth in a better place than we found it.”
Bill Jackson, TGLF Board Chair
Youth are our future leaders, the generation who will drive the next phase of conservation.
They have a fare greater stake in the distant future and deserve to be involved in the conversation.
Youth are increasingly proactive in using the power of their collective voice to influence decision makers in adopting practices and policies that ensure a brighter future for all.
More energetic and tech-savvy then older generations, they are more orientated to problem-solving and boldly challenge the status quo.
Thank gosh for the youth of today!
I've benefited from the opportunities afforded my own generation in reimagining the future and knowing that I truly can make a difference by being the change I want to see in my world. My journey would therefore not be complete without extending that same opportunity to today's youth.
What a fantastic opportunity Walking the Thin Green Line provides for students and youth to better understand their natural and cultural heritage and what they can do help protect it.
By talking to schools in person, holding virtual field trips and providing lesson plans and an ESRI story map (which I consider very Carmen-San-Diego-esk, yes child of the 90s), I hope to inspire young people to be actively engaged in protecting the natural and cultural heritage they are inheriting and understand their roles as global citizens and valuable contributors of their communities.
Check out the page to find out more.