Twenty-two women are among 59 community rangers from the South Fly District of Western Province who graduated this week through the Building Resilience in Treaty Villages (BRTV) project, a press release issued today (June 13) reports.
Managed by the Cairns-based Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, the BRTV project aims to build the resilience of the South Fly’s 13 coastal villages by training community rangers in food security, construction, sanitation, first aid and leadership.
The graduation ceremony was held on Daru Island on 11 June and attended by the Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta, Minister for Defence Solan Mirisim, Minister for Police Jelta Wong, Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas, the Australian Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, Australian Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Claire Moore and Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis.
“Papua New Guinea’s South Fly District and northern Australia share a long history of social, cultural and economic connections, formalised through the Torres Strait Treaty which came into effect in 1985,” said Mr Davis.
“It is through these ties that we are supporting a community ranger model for the 13 Treaty Villages in this remote area, which is based on an Indigenous Australian model operating in the Torres Strait Islands.
The Australian High Commissioner said, “following intensive training, the rangers are able to use their new skills to support the delivery of basic services, while also becoming role models and future leaders in their communities.”
He added that there is no separation of roles for male and female rangers, regardless of traditional cultural norms. Female rangers are treated equally throughout the training and learn the same skills as men, such as small boat handling, safety and maintenance.
The BRTV program is supported by the Papua New Guinea- Australia Partnership.
Source: Australian High Commission, Papua New Guinea – Press Release