RANGERS at Lake Condah are excited for the benefits a World Heritage listing would bring the area, after Premier Denis Napthine announced the government’s support for the campaign yesterday.
Senior Budj Bim ranger Debbie Malseed said the opportunities for employment, increase in tourism and the ability to protect the Budj Bim cultural landscape forever were significant.
“It will raise awareness of what is here, and also hopefully open up a few locals’ eyes about the area,” she said.
Despite having only worked there for a few months, young ranger Josiah Hazelton has already learnt so much about his heritage.
“I heard about the job from mum and didn’t know anything about my heritage before I started. I’d never been to the lake or the mission before,” he said.
“Now I really enjoy it. It’s good to do something different, see where you came from and be involved in protecting it.
“It’s opened my eyes to the struggle of Aboriginal people and given me a much wider knowledge of the past,” he said.
Ms Malseed says Josiah is an example of just how culturally important the area is.
“Working here and talking to people at the mission and hearing their stories,” she said.
“He’s just soaked everything up and learnt very quickly. It really surprised me.”