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Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef
Revive Our
2022 Winner

Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef

Area of Impact:

The Great Barrier Reef is under constant environmental threat. Now, the Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef are empowering each other to protect critical ecosystems.

Their Story

Faced by a warming planet, the Great Barrier Reef, lying in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, is under constant threat. On land, meanwhile, flora and fauna are ravaged by increasingly regular bushfires.

The region’s indigenous rangers are vital to its defence. Their work brings together ancient knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, with most modern tools, like drones that monitor coral changes, forest fires and land degradation.

Yet in Queensland only 20% of indigenous rangers, are women. That’s where the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network comes in. Over the past four years, the network has helped build the next generation of women rangers.

The programme has trained over 60 women, encouraging new conservation approaches by sharing knowledge and telling stories. Members of the network have gone on to find work as rangers in Queensland or in conservation elsewhere.

Their work is vital. The data they have collected has given us critical insight into one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. As custodians of the land, the rangers have also protected sites of great cultural and spiritual significance.

With greater support, indigenous women rangers could span the planet, helping to repair ecosystems from Hawaii to Nepal and Tanzania.

Their impact so far

Since winning the 2022 Earthshot Prize to Revive our Oceans, the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network have rapidly scaled their membership.

Use of Prize Money

Earthshot Prize funding has allowed the team to increase in size, which has helped it reach out to other networks, groups and funders. The network has now expanded to more than 150 rangers, with an ever-growing list of people expressing an interest in joining. The Earthshot Prize money is also helping them provide more in-country training for Indigenous Women Rangers and youth programmes for young women across the network.

Key Milestones

The leadership team is now building its communications capabilities and developing new platforms for initiating and maintaining connections with the growing network of Indigenous Women Ranger groups. There is a growing interest in the programme, especially from younger women who want to become rangers. These women are building strong relationships with their mentors and gaining the confidence to try new roles and participate in often male-dominated training.

Connections Made

Supported by introductions from The Earthshot Prize, the Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef team have formed strategic relationships with several new partners, including strategy and leadership advisory providers, as well as funders and tech companies which can help provide the team with digital training.

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Other 2022 Revive Our Oceans Finalists

The Earthshot Prize