The Arafura Swamp Rangers have a vision to keep country healthy. But how do we know we are doing a good job and working in the right way?

“We have new challenges and want to work with others to find new solutions. As land managers we have to deal with problems that have come from outside and which need tools from the ‘Balanda toolbox’ to deal with those things. Our rangers are looking to western scientific knowledge as we deal with new problems on country, many of which have only come to us since Balanda arrived here. To tell a good story now, we are listening to everyone’s story and putting two toolboxes together, two knowledges, ours and Balanda science.”

Key Projects

Intercultural Monitoring and Evaluation Project (IMEP)

The IMEP project has involved ASRAC rangers, staff and visiting partners working together with families and clans in the ASRAC management region to build ASRAC’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems around our Healthy Country Plan.

The Dillybag has been made by the IMEP Team and gathers the work we have done so far in one place. This includes our shared understandings of M&E work and how we want to do it, as well as our organisational roadmaps, indicators, monitoring tools and governance processes.

The Dillybag is intended as a reference document for ASRAC rangers, clans and families in our work towards healthy country. We share it publicly as a resource and inspiration for other Indigenous ranger groups working on their M&E systems. It should be read in relation to its ‘sister document,’ the Arafura Swamp Rangers Healthy Country Plan 2017-2027.

“With IMEP, we are making a Mindirr (dillybag). This one is a very important story. For this monitoring and evaluation we started at empty, there was nothing there. Then we were walking around all over the place, through all the clan areas getting all the stories. We wove in the stories from the Yuyuŋ Nyanuŋ from all the clans.

Each pandanus string is one story. This type of stitch is called gumbul gaywarr.
 We weave the string forward giving Yuyuŋ Nyanuŋ a story, and then when the string is crossed over, turned and woven backwards, they are giving back their story.”

– Mali Djarrbal

Healthy Country Plan

We know that the land needs its people to care for it and to keep it healthy. In the same way we know that caring for the country keeps us healthy – physically, spiritually and mentally.