QIWRN: Meet The Queensland Women Protecting The Great Barrier Reef

By Anthony K

The Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers (QIWRN) recently received a £1m ($1.8m) Earthshot prize as recognition for their work in safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef. They were awarded in the Revive Our Oceans category inaugurated by Prince William and David Attenborough in 2020.

Image courtesy of @francesco_ungaro/Unsplash

Earthshot maintains that the prize is vital and describes the Indigenous Women Rangers as an incredible women-led initiative that combines digital technologies and over 60,000 years of First Nations Knowledge to preserve the land and sea for future generations.

About 80% of Indigenous rangers of Queensland are men, while women account for the remaining 20%. QIWRN was established in 2018 and has trained over 60 women that have subsequently become rangers and conservationists in Queensland and beyond.

Earthshot claims that the data collected by QIWRN gives critical insight into the most vital ecosystems of our planet. They also recognized the rangers as custodians of the land, going the extra mile to protect sites of great spiritual and cultural importance. Granting QIWRN extra support could aid in the repair of ecosystems spanning from Hawaii to Nepal and Tanzania.

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Larissa Hale, QIWRN’s managing director, recognized planet earth as our indigenous home that we risk losing. Hale also acknowledged the Women Rangers Network strives to protect our home and preserve its traditions. She claimed the QIWRN still has a long way to go. She finished by thanking Earthshot Prize for its support.

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy was present at the Earthshot Award Ceremony and informed ABC of her excitement and hope that they would win. She also hoped the QIWRN would raise awareness of the significance of oceans so that all folks may pool their efforts to preserve them, drawing on traditional knowledge.