It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a great team to successfully complete an expedition.
That said, can I just raise the point that no one ever says a village raises a child well, just that it takes a village...for better or worse I suppose. Plus (to be completely honest) at times Rangers are basically children in karki or high-vis uniforms with pretty badges who love playing with toys...toys like Landcruisers, wildlife cameras and fire equipment...and chainsaws...and most power tools really. So you could say it takes both a village and a team to achieve the goals of Walking the Thin Green Line.
Scroll down to find out more about the Village-come-team who are turning this crazy idea into an inspiring reality.
Every step has inspired the next and served to fuel my desire to truly be the change I wish to see in the world.
...aka Danger Ranger
I’m a vertically challenged (aka short, but let’s not be harsh), sun loving Queenslander (by birth at least) who does not do cold and could render a donkey limbless by speech alone.
Officially in my final year of the 'youth' age bracket (that’s 35 for those who don’t know), I’m lucky enough to still have knees that don’t crunch and can complete a game of hockey without major physio intervention to survive. That said, I’m by no means fit.
Yeah, working on that.
As a former fine dining chef and student of Slow Food International's University of Gastronomic Science, I have always walked my own path to make a difference in the world. I've run a workshop for youth contribution to the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development, helped launch the Youth Food Movement and tutored for the University of Queensland's Indigenous Tutorial Assistance and Retention Program.
I began volunteering for the Thin Green Line Foundation as a member of the South Australian Ranger Association during WOMAdelaide in 2016. This eye-opening experience sparked a passion to support the global Ranger family and raise awareness for the amazing work they do in protecting the world's wild places.
Taking a year off work without pay and using literally all my financial resources to undertake Walking the Thin Green Line, is just the next step in my journey to make a difference in the lives of Rangers around the world and the places they protect.
I had the privilege of volunteering with TGLF to support their annual stall at Womadelaide whilst working as a Ranger in South Australia and have been inspired to help the global ranger family ever since. The passion and dedication of Founder Sean Willmore and the entire TGLF team are an inspiration to all and are in no small part the inspiration behind the expedition.
TGLF’s mission is to protect nature’s protectors by providing vital support to Rangers, their families and communities who are the frontline of conservation. Their vision is to see all Rangers well respected as essential workers, who care for and regenerate the planet’s protected areas.
TGLF works to improve the livelihoods and working conditions of Rangers, their families, and their communities globally. By investing in Rangers, they protect them from danger and improve their capabilities and capacity to succeed.
The fantastic team at the Thin Green Line Foundation (TGLF) are the super humans behind the only organisation solely dedicated to supporting Rangers world-wide with the assistance they deserve and need. I couldn’t be happier to support this amazing organisation and hope the expedition can generate even more support and awareness for all that they do.
Through their work they increase community engagement in conservation, promote indigenous and local knowledge within land management, improve the rights and recognition of Rangers and address threats to ecosystems globally.
TGLF address the specific needs of Rangers through four strategic pillars – Developing capacity and capabilities, equipping Rangers, emergency Support, and connecting rangers. Funds raised by the expedition will go to a special Oceania Fund within TGLF that will support Rangers in the Oceania Region through projects that directly align with these strategic pillars.
The TGLF team will be working with me to promote the expedition, connect with Rangers and deliver funding to Rangers on the ground.
Council of Oceania Ranger Associations
Less than eloquently put, the Council of Oceania Ranger Associations (CORA) is the group of representatives from the Ranger Associations within the International Ranger Federations (IRF) Oceania Region. Yeah, say that ten times quickly on a Monday morning before a coffee.
More simply – the IRF groups the world’s Ranger associations into regions, Oceania is one. CORA represents the Rangers of Oceania. Simples.
CORA’s mission is to unite Oceania rangers and protected area workers to build on a diverse and dynamic team working towards protecting and making a positive impact on the natural, cultural and recreational resources and places within the Oceania region. Yep, we like to say a lot in a single sentence so just read it a few times and you’ll get there.
CORA has a great team of Rangers at the helm working hard (in addition to their normal ranger jobs I might add) to improve outcomes for the region’s protected area workers and help connect all of us across a region with the unique challenge of isolation by water - aka Island nations.
We have an amazing IRF Representative for CORA in the bubbly, passionate and exceptionally capable Jolene Nelson who has gone a long way to put us on the map and bring attention to the challenges unique to our region’s Rangers. With the very first Oceania Ranger Forum to be held this year in Rotorua, New Zealand, and new Ranger associations coming on board in the next 12 months, it is exciting times at CORA and the perfect time for the expedition to showcase the Oceania region.
CORA reps and the Ranger associations they represent will be helping me link up with Rangers along the way, coordinate interviews, communicate key messages and learnings with Rangers and will be hosting the Oceania Ranger Forum in New Zealand this year at which I will be presenting about the expedition.
CORA are the foundation upon which we will build connection and improved collaborating between Rangers and jurisdictions in the Oceania Region. I can't wait to see the growth and changes that will happen for CORA during the expedition and will be proud as punch to showcase Oceania Rangers and CORA at the World Ranger Congress in June 2023.