A group of Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef has recently been awarded one of the world’s most prestigious environmental prizes, founded by Prince William and David Attenborough: The Earthshot Prize.
In Queensland, only 20% of indigenous rangers are women. The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network (led by managing director, Larissa Hale) has helped build the next generation of women rangers over the past four years. The program has trained more than 60 women, encouraging a new conservation approach that brings together ancient knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, with most modern tools (like drones that monitor coral changes), forest fires, and land degradation.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park welcomed more than 2 million visitors before the pandemic. Now, the Indigenous women of the GBR are empowering each other to protect critical ecosystems in Australia and beyond. Members of the network have gone on to find work as rangers in Queensland and in conservation elsewhere. Their work is vital. With greater support, indigenous women rangers could span the planet, helping to repair ecosystems from Hawaii to Nepal and Tanzania.