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Celebrating 10 Years of service for Darryl (Jonny) Ryder

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Aboriginal NRM

Ten years ago the Noongar Boodjar Rangers program began, aiming to employ Aboriginal men and women on Country caring for the land and its unique flora and fauna.

One of the original Rangers, Darryl Ryder, better known as Jonny, has reached the milestone of 10 years of hard work restoring Country. The other Rangers in the team call him, ‘The King’. This is out of respect for Jonny, who is also ‘Pop’ to many of them.

When asked what he enjoyed most about the program, Jonny, a man of few words, said ‘Well, I don’t enjoy the heat.’ On a sweltering Northam summer’s day, Jonny was raking leaves up at the Northam Cemetery, with guys half his age. But still he was out there working and ensuring that the cemetery, which is also the resting place of many of his family and friends, was neat and tidy for the community.

During Jonny’s ten years as a Ranger, the employment opportunities and job skills have developed. Initially focused mostly around tree planting sites on Country to restore the bush, Jonny’s work now includes native seed collection, the maintenance of the Northam Cemetery, revegetation work with carbon companies, and the maintenance of revegetation sites for Main Roads WA. Jonny particularly enjoys getting out on Country and using the chain saw or the whipper snipper. He is the Rangers’ go-to man for machine maintenance and reticulation.

Along the way Jonny has also completed training for a number of units of competency. These include units such White Card, Chain Saw Maintenance and Operation, Cultural Burning, First-Aid, and green-skills such as plant propagation, native seed collection, and handling chemicals for weed control.

So, thanks Jonny! Congratulations on the thousands of days of work you have put in over the last ten years, restoring Country, mentoring young Aboriginal men and women, and helping to make our community an even better place to live and work.

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