July day honours rangers

By Country News

We all know that Christmas Day, April Fools’ Day and Valentine’s Day are days to celebrate — but one day that might not be so commonly known is World Ranger Day.

The final day of July not only celebrates the work rangers do to protect the planet’s natural treasures and cultural heritage, it also commemorates rangers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Speaking with Country News on the day, Parks Victoria community engagement ranger Emma Banting said every day was different.

‘‘No two days are the same,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s very different and depends on where you work.

‘‘Working in a marine park is obviously very different to being here (in the Shepparton Regional Park, under the causeway between Shepparton and Mooroopna).

‘‘In the Shepparton office, we cover a lot of land — across the Shepparton Regional Park and the Lower Goulburn National Park and heaps of reserves.

‘‘You name it, we look after it in Shepparton,’’ she said.

Miss Banting said she had been with Parks Victoria for eight months and got there thanks to a degree in Environmental Science and Management.

‘‘A background in natural resource management allows you to become a ranger,’’ she said.

Miss Banting’s role includes working with different groups of people, from tours with children to volunteers who manage the parkland.

Miss Banting said the best part of her work was being outside in nature.

‘‘My favourite part of the job is coming out here and bringing children out here (as part of the Junior Rangers program) to explore and find out what they didn’t know was here,’’ she said.

‘‘Look at the office — it’s beautiful.’’

Today, Parks Victoria rangers and field service officers care for 4.1million hectares of mountains, deserts, forests and coastline, an area about the size of Switzerland.