Continued learning for Junior Ranger presenters

Friday 8 April, 2022

This school holidays thousands of children will get a new perspective on our natural world through the Junior Ranger program. The program offers children a variety of free and fun activities where they can explore parks, reserves, beaches, forests, and deserts with a Parks Victoria ranger.

Ahead of the holidays a group of more than 25 Parks Victoria staff brushed up on their skills at the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Victoria’s Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries. 

Local rangers provided training for two popular Junior Ranger activities, Away with the Birds and Rockpool Ramble. 

Rangers looking down at rockpool at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary 

During Rockpool Ramble, rangers learnt about the distinct species of seaweed, and how to tell the difference between interesting and unique marine life like crabs and snails.

Ranger Cleo Legge who presented the ramble explains, “It was pretty nerve-wracking presenting Rockpool Ramble to colleagues and experts in the field rather than children.”

“Since many of the rangers work across inland parks, it was a great chance to share the importance of the special marine life which inhabit our coastline.”

Joined by community leaders from Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Marine Education Science and Community Inc, rangers took part in workshops to learn about coastal ecosystems and cultural heritage.

 “Some workshops focused on hands on training, while other presentations saw rangers learn about both marine and coastal science and deepen their respect for cultural land” says Matthew Navaretti, Regional Coordinator, Interpretation, Information and Education.

Uncle Shane Clarke from Bunurong Land Council and Parks Victoria ranger presenting at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary
Uncle Shane Clarke from Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation welcomed the Parks Victoria rangers and community partners to Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary

Uncle Shane Clarke of the Bunurong Land Council welcomed rangers and guests onto the cultural lands of the Bunurong People through a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony which saw each participant deepen their connection to Country.

“Uncle Shane Clarke provided everyone with a rich insight into how the Bunurong People continue to respect and care for Country.”

“It was an experience that I believe we will all take away and remember in our future work” says Matthew Navaretti.

Prof John Buckeridge presenting to rangers in front of cliffs at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary
 Emeritus Professor John Buckeridge taught rangers about significant rock forms at Ricketts Point aged approximately 5-6 million years old

Presentations from Marine Education Science and Community taught the history of the bay. Emeritus Professor John Buckeridge taught rangers about the rich history of fossils and the importance of the local rock landforms at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary.

Not only did rangers learn from the guest presenters, but they also took insights from one another. 

“Each ranger I spoke to inspired me with great ideas on how I can continue to improve future Junior Ranger sessions at Ricketts Point.”

“There is always more to discover about our coast and parks. I am looking forward to putting the learnings to practice in the next Junior Ranger season!” says Ranger Cleo.

Rangers across Victoria are now eagerly preparing for the Autumn Junior Rangers program. 

Visit the Junior Ranger website to sign up to the Autumn program this April school holidays. This training was supported by Principal Partner Macpac.

Find out more and visit Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary located on the Sea Country of the Bunurong People.

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