Ranger Profiles

Sean McNeair – Manager, MLSU Ranger Unit

SEAN-MC-NEAIR-ProfileYarndarni (Hello) My name is Sean McNeair and I’m 42 years old. I am a proud Malgana man from Shark Bay (GATHAAGUDU), Western Australia. I am a member of the Bellottie family.

I grew up as a small child on Sea Country in Shark Bay, Western Australia and was taught constantly about my culture and connection to my country from my Grandmother and Grandfather (Elsie and Laurie Bellottie, both deceased) and extended Bellottie family. My mother (Helen McNeair, deceased) is the biggest inspiration to me and always will be. My mother taught me about Respect, Hard work, Pride and Family values.

I have officially worked on the ocean since I was 19yrs old (pro-fishing, pearl farming, Diver, Master and Fleet management) and travelled extensively overseas living and working in the Maritime Industry. I am a qualified Maritime Master 5 (trading/fishing) and Marine Engine Driver (grade II) since the age of 23 years old. I have experienced many different cultures while living and working abroad in different countries such as Seychelles, Vietnam, Alaska and United Arab Emirates.

I began with MAC in September 2013 as a Ranger Team Coordinator and have worked my way up to the Managers Position which I have been in now for approx. 18 months. I am still learning constantly about the Lore and Cultural of this region, especially in my role here as MLSU Manager and have a lot of support from MAC, the Rangers and our Circle of Elders (cultural advisory group).
 

Iszaac Webb (Waalitj) – MLSU Team Coordinator

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My name is Iszaac Webb or Waalitj meaning seahawk I was born in 1984 in Busselton known to my people as Undalup named after one of my grandfathers who was a warrior for our people. I’m from the Wadandi and Pibulmen people of the southwest of Western Australia Wadandi which translates to saltwater people and Pibulmen meaning people of plenty.

I grew up with my family learning my traditions and stories of Nulla Boodja (our country). Always camping on the Boodja (Country) eating bush tucker such as Bain (Coastal Pigface), Dumbari (Quandong), Koolah (Emu Plum) and Bardi (Witchetty Grub), also being a saltwater person we would catch Coreil (Blue Manna Crab), Ngaralung (Herring) and Buljan (Bream) and feast on the Djilget Daach (Fish Meat) that we hunt from Wattern or Waatu (The Ocean)

I began working when I was twelve crushing boxes and stacking shelves at our local shop whilst still going to school.

In 2001 when I was 17 my grandfather passed away so I moved in with my grandmother to take care of her and work at our cultural centre for 2 years running cultural tours and showcasing my people’s knowledge that had been passed down to me as a Koolunga (Kid). I then moved to Wooditchup also known as Margaret River and worked for Coles in the fresh produce department, after 3months of employment I was promoted to 2ic or second in charge and one year after that promoted to fresh produce manager. I worked for Coles Myer for a total of 2 years and then decided I would move to Kabbagup (Walpole).

I then worked for 2 years at a local Café/Bakery where I learnt customer service skills, Baking and completed a barista course, at 23 years of age an opportunity had arisen to work with the Mineag people of Albany as a project officer for South Coast NRM (Natural Resource Management) where I worked for 3 years completing approximately 40 project across the great southern rehabilitating Boodja (Country) and protecting cultural sites with the traditional owners.

At 26 I applied for a job as an aboriginal facilitator for the South West Catchments Council in my Boodja (Country) and worked with my community and elders completing an array of environmental projects across the south west region of Western Australia.

After leaving SWCC (South West Catchments Council) at the age of 30 I began working on creating my consultancy business Waalitj Wongi (Sea Eagle Talking) which specialised in archaeological assessments, cultural tourism, environmental management and cultural education.

My business was put on hold when I heard about a position that was being advertised allowing me to work with traditional owners in the Pilbara as a ranger team co-ordinator for MAC (Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation), so I applied for the positon and was successful in my application. I began working on the 9th March 2015 and have enjoyed my time to date learning language and the cultures of the many groups that include the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people.

Kenny Diamond – MLSU Senior Ranger/Acting Cultural Officer -Team Leader – Men

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Hi my name is Kenny Diamond. I started work for Murujuga in 16 may 2014. I’m 40 years old also I’m a Yinjibarndi man. My home land is within the Millstream country. My grandfather is Johnny Walker. My first job was in the Roebourne Regional prison as an Art Lecturer.

Some of my art work has been used as icons for the Apps IfORM developed for GPS in Murujuga. You can see this in some of the National Park signs. The cover of the Cultural Management Plan is also something I painted.

Now I work out at Murujuga Land and Sea Unit as a Ranger. I’ve been here for two years and six months. Since I have been at Murujuga I have completed training and have received Certificates in these areas.

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES -Aquatic Biodiversity Indigenous Ranger Workshop
• ST JOHN -HLTAID001 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation; -HLTAIDO 2 Provide basic emergency life support, and -HLTAIDO3 Provide First Aid
THOROUGH CLEAN -Safe Operation & Maintenance of High Pressure Hydro Jetting Systems for Class A Type pressure Cleaners
PILBARA INSTITUTE – Introduction to Computers
MLSU STAFF AWARDS -Every month our office provides Awards to the Staff for various achievement. I have received in Jan 7th 2015 the monthly award.
KIMBERLY TRAINING INSTITUTE -Certificate 11 in (Cultural) Conservation and Land Management
We will continue to Certificate III this year.

Also I enjoy what I do;

I lead the Cultural Awareness Induction in the Murujuga Headquarters in Dampier, then I go Shouting Out to Country or what we call “Welcome to Country”. I do this in my language, Yindjibarndi.

Each year during NAIDOC Week, the team goes out to schools to tell them about the kind of work we do on the National Park and what it is like to be a ranger and sing out to country. At the same time we prepare lunch. We cook roo tails, make damper in our traditional ways.

We tell the school children story’s about Murujuga of what had happen to those men and woman and kids that use to live here.

We also look for damages on the rock art. We add this to our database so we can plan when to go out and remove it. The Circle of Elders who are our leaders, give us guidance for safety on the land.

During Country patrols we also go around the National Park picking up rubbish to avoid marine life being destroyed.

We also attend Conferences meetings in Perth or where ever we are invited.

Today it is up to us rangers to look after this country for our elders and the young generation. We get our Cultural Advice and protocols working with our Circle of Elders to look after this country, to be safe, that way we know what part of areas we are allowed to go on in the land and sea.

 

Nathan Evans – MLSU Senior Ranger

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Hi my name Nathan Evans. I’m a Kuruma Marthdunera man from Pannawonica Robe river area.

I’ve been working for the Murujuga rangers for little over 2 years and 6 months. I am passionate about being a MAC Ranger. As a MAC or Murujuga Ranger my job involves many things;

  • Looking after Country with our co-partners, DPAW Land and Sea in the 42 islands of the Dampier archipelago and the Murujuga National Park 4,913ha. To access the islands for research or sea country patrols, we take the I’ve also got my coxswains ticket to drive the Murujuga Ranger boat, which means I am responsible for safety checks, (EPIRB , life jackets, equipment ) inductions for people before they go on board, man over board exercises, boat maintenance and keeping registrations current. The rangers also have a monitoring programme which means we put out cameras in certain sites to check data in the islands on sea country.
  • When we have Visitors to the National Park we the rangers offer Culture Awareness Inductions at headquarters before we go on Country. It helps us increase awareness and education for the general public. Risk Management for Visitors is one of our key tasks. Cultural Safety is authority of the Circle of Elders. We go to the Elders for permissions, protocols and cultural guidance on all matters. Every third Thursday, once a month, we Rangers prepare a meeting with the Elders. We discuss business for Murujuga Ngurra at a place called the Yatha with over 40 Elders to guide us out on country, because there are men’s areas and woman’s areas that are highly restricted to men. We get Visitors asking to be invited to our meetings if they want permission to do research or go into Country.
  • Culture Awareness Inductions is a very popular business. For NAIDOC week, every year in July, we also go to schools and educate the kids on culture awareness and cook up traditional foods such as kangaroo tail stew. Elders join us and tell stories about Murujuga ngurra, the language word for Country.
  • On Country patrols Rock Art Protection project means we get to note damaged rock art from weathering and also check graffiti and where people have imitated the rock art. We collect a lot of data which is entered in the GIS database. Using APP Iform which was developed for our use helps us to record and capture anything important we see. In the interactive map we can locate where each part of rock art is located or where our attention needs to be focussed in relation to Country.

We use also deal with weed management & weed control, sand dune rehabilitation, graffiti management, and signage installation on the National Park, cultural guidance on country for dealing with fire when back burning so fire fighters are aware of artefacts rock art that is damaged. We collect marine debri -rubbish so turtles and birds are not harmed..

On GPS we identify tracks using this APP to ensure tracks are managed and not destroy culturally significant areas. An important part of our daily work means we also do Cultural Zoning for Men & Women Areas for Safety working on Country also using GPS apps.

In 2016, we hope to start our Cert III Cultural Land & Conservation Management. To date this is some of the training I have done to help me be an active ranger.

Cert 11 Cultural Land & Sea Conservation Management 2015 – Completed

LIFEBOAT Conversations for Life 08/10/2014

Department of Environment & Conversation1080 Practical Assessment for Safe Use and Handling of Registered 1080 Pesticides – 6/5/2014

ST JOHNS – 9/06/2015; HLTAIDOO1 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation, HLTAISOO2 Provide Basic Emergency Life Support, HLTAID003 Provide First Aid.

THOUROUGHCLEAN Certificate of Attainment for Safe Operation and Maintenance of High Pressure Hydro Jetting Systems for Class A TYPE Pressure Cleaners 28/10/2015

PILBARA INSTITUTE – Introduction to Computers -20 Nov 2015

KIMBERLY INSTITUTE: Certificate 1 in Marine Operations Coxswain 2 Near Coastal – 2014,

MARC005                 Operate inboard and Outboard Motors,

MARF001                  Apply Basic Skills in the Event of a Vessel,

MARF002                 Follow procedures to minimise and fight fires on board a vessel

MAR005                    Survive at Sea using survival craft

MARF004                 Meet Work Health and Safety Requirements

MARI001                  Comply with regulations to ensure safe operation of a vessel

MARJ001                  Follow Environmental Work Practices

MARK001                 Handle a Vessel up to 12 metres

MARN002                Apply Seamanship Skills

I am also very interested in archaeology I’d like to do degree in this to help with my job as we do a lot of rock art recordings and site recordings we also get involved in marine biology and turtle tagging.

 

William Hicks – MLSU TRAINEE RANGER

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I’m a 30 year old male from Roebourne, I was born in Wickham and I’ve lived in Roebourne all my life. My Great grandfather Fred Hicks was a Yindjibarndi man and my Great grandmother Molly Thompson was a Ngarluma Woman.

I started as a trainee ranger on the 27th of July 2015.

Out here on Murujuga our duties as a MAC/MLSU ranger are.

  • On Country patrols (OCP)
  • SEA Country Patrols (SCP)
  • Circle of elders (COE)
  • Cultural Safety

OCP – We look after and monitor Rock art, we do beach patrols where we record the number of visitors and their pets at the beach, Rubbish collection, record flora and fauna, record the number of animals we see and monitor their tracks, remove road kill and try to answer any questions from the public.

SCP – We monitor the coastline around the Dampier area and monitor the coastlines of our 42 islands, Collect any rubbish that we may encounter and monitor turtle nesting areas.

COE – Our Circle of elder meetings which we have once a month, we set the agenda, prepare and present power points also type up and deliver invitations, we do some traditional cooking as well for our elders which we all love.

Cultural safety – We give cultural inductions for any visitors willing to come and listen, we then take them out and welcome them to country. Cultural safety is a big thing for us out here at Murujuga.

I have experience in the mining industry and working out at Murujuga has taught me the “other side “like how to care for country rather than destroying it.

Working at Murujuga has reconnected my love for country after working in the mining industry for so long and has refreshed my understanding that all things on country are connected as one.

“You look after country and country will look after you”

 

Waylon Coppin – MLSU TRAINEE RANGER

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Hi my name is Waylon Coppin and I am a Ranger at MAC/MLSU. I’d like to tell you about myself. First of all I was born in Wickham District Hospital and I am 26 years old. I am the youngest in my family and I started working as a trainee ranger on the 27th of July 2015. My skin group colour is Burungu and I’m also a Nymal man. I follow my father side and I have lived in Wickham most of my life.

When I first heard about the MAC /Ranger program I thought that I’d put in for a position, a job, because I wanted to learn something new and get more knowledge experience and learn about the country Murujuga its self. The duties on Murujuga country is called MSLU core business are; OCP-on country patrol, SCP-sea country patrol, COE-circle of elders, Cultural safety, Protecting rock art, Flora fauna.

On country -when I’m on country patrol I go out and protect the country (Ngurra) the national park. I also work beside 6 other rangers. The national park holds 4,913ha of the land under joint managements with DPAW also known as Department of Parks and Wildlife. Murujuga means in language, hip bone sticking out. Where we are working on country, we input signs like protected area signage, cultural signage, also they known as Murujuga National Park signs. We work on sand dunes and learning how to rehabilitate the sand dunes. We are also learning and experiencing how to use iforms GPS points and how to manage country.

I am also teaching myself how to speak in front of the Circle of Elders Community. Even though I fear speaking in front of a huge crowd, that’s what I have to get through, so I can teach others younger generation because we and they all need to know about the country cause things like paranormal activities can happen while you’re on country that’s why we speak our elders at our (COE) meetings we call circle of elders so they can give us cultural advise and knowledge on what can we do and what we cannot do on country and respect the country and the country will respect you and look after you.

Before I was a ranger I worked on country as a surveyor on heritage sites.

 

Kylie Mowarin – MLSU Ranger Team Leader Women

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My Descendants are from Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi.

The late R and A Mowarin (nee Carey). I started working for Murujuga July of 2014, The 100th National Park in Australia, as a Trainee Ranger, Working my way up to becoming Team Leader. My interests are plants and Our Bush Jummi (medicines), Bush Tucker; I’ve already made two ointments Bloodwood & Vicks Bush.

MInyjarra

MInyjarra

Mardawud

Mardawud

In the near future hoping that we are able to start a Nursery, to help revegetate and to have our own Seed Bank.

We also do On Country and Sea Patrols, Protecting Rock Art and Cultural Awareness Induction with Welcome to country.

We also work impartially with our Elders which are from 5 language groups, which have reconciled to look after Murujuga under our BMIEA agreement. Our Elders give us Cultural Guidance to protect us Rangers too work on Country.

Our mantra is “LOOK AFTER OUR LAND & SEA, LAND & SEA WILL LOOK AFTER YOU!”
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mariah Reed – MLSU Trainee Ranger

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I am 17 years old and born in Perth, I am child of three and my family ties run into the Yindjibarndi people of the Pilbara region. I began working at MLSU (Murujuga Land and Sea Unit) on July 27th 2015 as a trainee ranger. Today I am a Ranger having fulfilled my trainee probation period.

Some of my duties as a ranger are; Protecting rock art, OCP (on country patrols), SCP (sea country patrols), CoE (Circle of Elders Meetings), Cultural Safety, Inductions\Welcome to country, Flora & Fauna

When on country I help manage and look after the Murujuga national park along with the 4 senior rangers and 2 trainee rangers. The national park consists of 4,913ha of land that is jointly managed with DPAW. (Department of Parks and Wildlife) I also help look after the 42 islands that are heritage listed areas located off Dampier peninsular also known to the traditional owners as Murujuga meaning (Hipbone sticking out).

I’m also involved in implementing on-ground works such as rehabilitation, cultural education and the protection of cultural values.

Public speaking runs thick through the Murujuga ranger program having to speak to large crowds or even just our Elders during CoE meetings and its one of my greatest fears. Over the years I hope to gain more confidents in myself so I can encourage the younger generation to get up and speak confidently and have their say.

When on county we record and monitor areas so we have an understanding of how much people come to these sites and places and if they are taking domestic pets into the park, or if they are respecting the country and rock art around them.

Rubbish collecting is another project we do in the park and is a big matter to us. The animals on country are more than likely to eat something they are not supposed too and it leads to illness and can result in death.

It’s up to us rangers to protect our Ngurra (country) to prevent these things from happening out on Murujuga.

Respect is our motto out here in Murujuga respect and look after country, country will respect and look after you.

 

Michael Boona – MLSU GENERAL/CULTURAL MENTOR & TRANSPORT OFFICER

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My name is Michael Boona (Googie) I am a Mardudhunera man and I was born in Onslow but grew up and lived in Roebourne most of my life.

My current role at MAC/MLSU is as the Transport and Logistics Coordinator. In the MLSU Unit my role is to ensure the fleet is ready and safe for use. A significant part of my role is with supporting the transport needs of the Murujuga (MAC) Circle of Elders to attend monthly meetings. This also includes the last two years transporting Elders to the countless workshops on country for the Cultural Management Plan, Lore and Culture Events as well as attendance for Sorry Time.

I am also the Community Liaison in the MLSU for Trainee Rangers to discuss any issues of importance in their work place. Because I am approachable and easy to talk with most people in the community will seek me for some matter cultural or personal and to have a yarn.

I have served worked in the MAC Board for six years. Before joining the MLSU I was also served at the Yindjibarndi & Ngarluma Foundation for five years, so I have been very involved and known within the community. Serving and working for the Elders on Country is very fulfilling for me. Leading by example sharing knowledge with Elders is a special part of my working day. It is long hours but I enjoy it. I hope I am setting a good example for my children, family and the future generations looking after country.

 

Lynsey McDonald – MLSU OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

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My name is Lynsey McDonald I am a Yindjibarndi women and I was born in Geraldton but grew up and lived in Perth most of my life. My mother is Margaret Ranger & she is a Yindjibarndi woman from Roebourne & my Father is Lindsay Councillor & his Naaguja man from Northampton.

My current role at MLSU is an Office Administrator. In the MLSU unit I am the first point of contact for the reception desk, serving visitors, customers our partners and the Circle of Elders. My role includes supporting the Manager and providing assistance/support to my fellow colleagues (Coordinator & Rangers). In addition I interface with our colleagues at the Karratha Headquarters on MLSU MAC business. Before joining the MLSU unit I was based at the MAC Office front desk as the Administration Officer, working in the Members Services, and with the Team Leader assisted with MAC Board monthly meetings. This gave me a very good background on another aspect of MAC.

I have many years of experience in the Professional/Administration Industry; I’ve worked at Woodside Energy completing my Certificate II & III in Business Administration for 3 years & then went to Training & Organisation Industry working at SMYL Community Services & Careers Australia over the last 4 years.

My Realistic Goals would be to travel & experience the world

My Career Goal would be to start my own business to help & support the poverty within the Indigenous community, not just in Australia, but also Worldwide to helping the younger generation that comes from bad homes & backgrounds.”

Quote: “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all of the time.”Anna Freud

I hope that I’m setting a good example to my family, friends, & the future generation.