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News and Announcements

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05 September 2022
Supporting the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust’s important conservation work 

The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (KKT) is all about promoting country, culture and community. 

That’s why the Smartgroup Foundation was pleased to help support the KKT’s important conservation work. 

The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust and the Warddeken Mayh Recovery Project 

The KKT was established in 2010 by the Traditional Owners of Warddeken and Djelk Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA). It’s located in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, and consists predominantly of stone country highlands and savanna lowlands. 

With a goal of sustainable land management and the preservation of cultural heritage, the KKT promotes First Nations coming and working together. 

One of the KKT’s vital campaigns is the Warddeken Mayh Recovery Project. Covering about 14,000 square kilometres, the Warddeken IPA is very remote, with no road access during the wet season. 

There are about 240 Warddeken Rangers managing the land. They’re working hard to protect species (mayh) that are both culturally and ecologically important species that are facing calamitous declines in Northern Australia. 

The project’s all about combining traditional First Nations knowledge of the land and animals with current scientific methods and technology. That way, the Rangers can better understand what strategies to implement for better outcomes. 

The Smartgroup Foundation and its support of the Recovery Project 

There are many species with a special significance to the Indigenous (such as totem species, or animals associated with sacred sites or ceremonial practices). Losing any of them can affect not just biodiversity, but also the knowledge and customs passed on by First Nations communities. 

The Smartgroup Foundation’s financial support has helped the KKT and Warddeken Rangers’ conservation efforts to protect the endangered Northern Quoll. 

There are many threats facing them like wildfires, feral animals (cats, buffalo, pigs and other cattle), cane toads, weeds and changing climate. 

So the Warddeken Rangers have taken steps to better protect them, including with controlled burns – done at times the rangers chosen to better suit the Quoll’s habitat preference. 

They’ve also deployed a camera grid to help them monitor the animals closely – and especially how they’re interacting with their main predator, feral cats. As a result, the Rangers can increase their knowledge, and potentially reduce the threat of Quolls being preyed upon, particularly at key times of year, like their breeding season.  

Supporting the significant cultural role of animals 

Senior Warddeken Ranger, Terrah Guymala says: 

When we, Bininj [First Nations] people, see animals, we get excited because they play a big role in our life through ceremonies. This year we have seen lots of animals that we love, but we hope this number increases so we can physically show our children rather than relying on rock art to tell the stories.” 

It’s tremendous to see what this 100% First Nations-owned and directed project has been able to accomplish. With benefits for both the environment and the animal species, the project is also offering greater employment for Indigenous rangers. All while fostering the transfer of knowledge between generations. 

The Smartgroup Foundation 

It’s important for us to do what we can to support a variety of communities in Australia. The Smartgroup Foundation gets involved by providing donations to charities that we feel are doing valuable work. We focus on a few key areas that our employees earmarked for us when we created the foundation in 2019. 

It’s fantastic to see what the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust has achieved so far with their Warddeken Mayh Recovery Project. And we can’t wait to see what they’re able to do in the future. 

We’d love for you to read more about the Smartgroup Foundation by clicking here. And you can read more about the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust here. 


Photo credit: Wardekken Land Management