‘If We Look After the Land the Land Looks After Us’: Identity, Corporatization and Ranger Work in Cape York Peninsula.
Across northern Australia, the ‘caring for country’ movement which sees Indigenous people employed as rangers engaged in environmental management on their own lands has been lauded as a possible solution to overcoming both Indigenous disadvantage and environmental degradation.
The environmental work engaged in by Indigenous rangers in Australia’s remote regions, relies heavily on government funding and partnerships with scientists, government bodies, and other stakeholders, and requires Indigenous people to both corporatize and engage in mainstream work practices.
In this paper I explore some of the nuances involved in this movement, as experienced by Aboriginal people engaged in a ranger program in Eastern Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, and based on my recently completed PhD fieldwork. I pay particular attention to the ways in which Indigenous identities and relationships to country are negotiated in the contexts of environmental threat, corporatization, and encompassing mainstream economic values.
About the Presenter
Diana Romano is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Her PhD takes an ethnographic approach to understanding the sociocultural and economic effects of land and native title claims in Cape York Peninsula. Diana also works in native title anthropology, and has done so since 2010, via Queensland South Native Title Services, and UQCHU.