July 31st is World Ranger Day, which celebrates the work rangers do to protect the world’s natural and culture treasures.
Trent Nelson is a Dja Dja Wurrung Ranger with Parks Victoria in Bendigo, Victoria. He’s a Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung man who works on his Grandfather’s Country every day.
As an Indigenous ranger, Trent manages the land of national parks through his knowledge of Indigenous culture and heritage. His role also involves identifying and protecting sites of special significance and educating Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians about Jaara Country.
“I work with culture of my people, protecting my culture. I teach our young ones the stories that have been sitting here in the ground, that have never left, and awakening them for the next generation,” Trent says.
One of the national parks Trent manages is Mt Alexander, Lianga-nhuk, near Castlemaine.
Lianga-nhuk hold very special meaning for the Jaara people. Trent says the presence of many scar trees, used to make canoes or shields, as well as artefacts shows the mountain was a site of heavy occupation by the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
“Being a ranger and working on your own traditional country is very special because it feels like you’re actually doing what your ancestors did for thousands of years, but you’re doing it in a mainstream sense today.”
“I feel very lucky and proud that I can do that.”
Storyboard – Film – Sound – Editing: Jane Curtis