Women Sea Rangers take the helm 


As skipper of the women’s boat, the BAWINANGA I, Felina Campion and her team now work alongside the men in BAWINANGA III to patrol and protect the Maningrida coastline

Indigenous women from around the Territory are in Darwin this week to arm themselves with new skills to protect their country’s coastlines for future generations.

It will be the first time that a group of women Sea Rangers has undertaken the course. The group of 12 women will learn to confront illegal fishers in real life scenarios and learn about the latest technology on offer to continue the tradition of past Indigenous guardians, and watch over the Territory coastline.

The award-winning Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Fisheries Compliance Support) was developed by the Charles Darwin University Maritime Unit in conjunction with NT Police Marine Fisheries Enforcement and the NT Department of Resources Fisheries Group.

CDU Vocational Education and Training lecturer Milton Miller said the course has provided training to Indigenous Sea Rangers for more than nine years.

“The initial training provided the rangers with their coxswain and safety training,” Mr Miller said. “The Certificate II (Fisheries Compliance Support) which was run for the first time in 2009, now gives the rangers the edge when it comes to assisting authorities to help prosecute offenders found illegally fishing on their country.”

With the course now up and running, each year a new crop of graduates has joined the ranks of marine rangers, with the first group of women rangers currently completing their Certificate II.

“During their training the women will face real life scenarios to learn the rules and regulations associated with illegal fishing and how to gather the appropriate evidence to help NT Police prosecute offenders,” Mr Miller said.

He said the opportunity to develop a course tailored specifically to suit Indigenous sea rangers was unique and had not previously been attempted in Australia.

As part of their course the women sea rangers will also be trained in presenting evidence in court. The scenario training session in the Moot Court at CDU will aim to give the students an idea of court procedures and protocols in a realistic setting.