About the Crocodile Islands Rangers
The Crocodile Islands Rangers (CIR) was established by Laurie Baymarrwaŋga (1917-2014), the senior Maringa Traditional Owner for the Malarra Clan. Her leadership and vision continues to inspire us as we focus on combining western practices with traditional caring for country knowledge and skills.
The Crocodile Islands Rangers (CIR) were established by the Maringa clans. Maringa is a name we use to talk about the clans, families and ceremonies which belong to the islands. The language of Maringa country is Yan-nhaŋu, which is spoken by Bindararr, Ngurruwulu, Walamangu, Gamalangga, Malarra and Gurryindi (Gorryindi) people. Yan-nhaŋu language and rituals contain a wealth of cultural and biological knowledge, the reward of hundreds of generations of intimate coexistence with our environment. Maringa people and country are intimately connected to other people and countries across the region.
The CIR Program aims to protect land and sea country including 1054km2 of registered sacred sites, and the breeding and nesting sites of numerous threatened or endangered species, these are all linked to the songs and ceremonies of this extraordinary living component of Australia’s national heritage.
The Crocodile Islands Rangers (CIR) program is part of the Milingimbi Outstations Progress Resource Aboriginal Corporation(MOPRA). MOPRA’s role is to provide support to homelands residents at Murruŋga, Bodiya, Langarra and Dhipirri.
‘Nhaŋu dhangany yuwalkthana Yolŋu mitji marnggimana dhana mayili mana dhangany mana limalama ganatjirri marimba barathalayuma gurrku mana wanggalangga’.
‘We will pass on the stories of our sea country for the benefit of a new generation to make it strong’.
Laurie Baymarrwaŋga, 1999
Laurie Baymarrwaŋga (1917-2014) was an inspirational leader. Her vision and work underpinned the creation of the Crocodile Islands Rangers (CIR), the Junior Rangers Program and a Turtle Sanctuary on Gurriba Island.
Baymarrwaŋga spent a lifetime promoting the intergenerational transmission of local language and knowledge to sustain the livelihoods and links to homelands which are unique to this part of Australia.
It is our vision that in 10 years’ time:
- We will be looking after our country in the way of our Yolŋu Law
- We will be respected as the proper owners and managers of the Crocodile Islands
- Our men’s and women’s culture and language will be alive and strong, and we will be teaching children in both Yolŋu and Balanda ways
- Our community will be talking together, sharing knowledge and working together
- We will be living on and making a living from our country
- We will be protecting and sharing our cultural places as our traditional Law says
- We will be using our traditional knowledge and Western science to care for our country so that no plants and animals are lost
- We will have a strong ranger program with sustainable funding, which provides many jobs on country and a Junior Rangers program
- Our healthy country will have no cane toads, weeds or rubbish and will provide plenty of different bush foods to support healthy people
The ranger badge
The Maringa Ocean alludes to the waters of the Arafura sea linked in ceremonial alliance by Dhuwa and Yirritja Yan-nhangu speaking clans. The barramundi (ratjuk) is a symbol of the Yirritja sea (dhulway) and the barracuda (larratjatja) is Dhuwa. Together they provide and care for our turtle and marine resources.
The moieties Dhuwa and Yirritja are two halves of a system that divides the world into two categories classifying every aspect of the Yolngu universe. Every aspect of the world, person or animal is Dhuwa or Yirritja, and is essentially and spiritually associated with a particular Dhuwa or a Yirritja clan.
Crocodile Islands Rangers is a program of the Milingimbi Outstations Progress Resource Aboriginal Corporation.
Copyright Crocodile Islands Rangers 2019
The Crocodile Islands Rangers program is supported through funding from the Australian Government.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.
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Please do not reproduce photos from the website without permission. Please contact us for more details about the images. © Crocodile Islands Rangers 2019