Ricky Archer becomes first Indigenous Director of National Parks

Mar 19, 2024

Ronald ‘Ricky’ Archer has been announced as the new director of National Parks, including Kakadu and Uluru.(Supplied: Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water)

Ricky Archer, a former ranger and Djungan man from the Western Tablelands region of North Queensland has made history as the first First Nations man to take on the role of Director of National Parks (DCCEEW), now based in Darwin, Northern Territory.

Since stepping into the role in late November, he has been busy, “It’s been a whirlwind start but a good one,” Ricky said.

“I have met with Kakadu’s Traditional Owners and the Board of Management, attended the Booderee National Park Joint Board of Management meeting, and met many Booderee staff and members of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community.

“I’ve also visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and seen the excellent work staff are doing there to manage the largest living collection of native Australian flora.

“This month I’m also travelling to Norfolk Island to meet the teams managing the national park and adjacent marine park.

“I have quickly learned that Parks Australia staff are some of the most committed and genuinely passionate people. They care about the environment, First Nations people and Country.”

The DNP has a broad remit with national parks in the Northern Territory, on the New South Wales coast, on Norfolk Island and on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. There is also the Australian National Botanic Gardens, and the vast Australian Marine Parks estate.

Ricky is taking time to listen to Parks Australia staff and learn from them.

“We have an amazing opportunity to make a greater impact in the way we manage our natural and cultural resources while supporting and strengthening the skills and expertise of our stakeholders such as rangers, Parks Australia staff, First Nations peoples, community, and the conservation sector.”

“I am honoured to continue our efforts in managing and protecting our national parks and marine parks for the benefit of all Australians. And, as the inaugural First Nations man to hold this position, I look forward to supporting and strengthening the role of Traditional Custodians in caring for Country in partnership with Parks Australia.”

Three of the national parks — Booderee, Kakadu, and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa — are Aboriginal land, leased to the Commonwealth and jointly-managed with their Traditional Owners. The Director of National Parks is entrusted to care for Country on behalf of, and in collaboration with Traditional Owners.

“Traditional Owners have a unique connection to Country. Their knowledge and perspectives, formed over many thousands of years, are important to the way that parks and reserves are managed.

“Joint management is about Traditional Owners and Parks Australia working together, solving problems, sharing decision-making and exchanging knowledge, skills, and information,” Ricky said.

Previously, Ricky was the Chief Executive Officer of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance. He has been engaged with the Indigenous Advisory Committee since 2014, providing advice to the Minister on the operation of the EPBC Act, taking into account the significance of Indigenous peoples’ knowledge of the management of land and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Other news

INECE Network News: April 2024

INECE Network News: April 2024

International News In the last month, 8 international news pieces have been added. For a complete listing, please click here. Nations Are Undercounting Emissions, Putting UN Goals at RiskFred Pearce and Yale Environment 36021 March 2024Because of lax rules,...

read more
DCCEEW unveils its First Nations Engagement Report

DCCEEW unveils its First Nations Engagement Report

The Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has launched its inaugural edition of the First Nations Engagement Report, a bi-monthly publication aimed at providing insightful analysis, forecasting, and comprehensive reporting on the...

read more

How will you use your AELERT membership in 24/25?

Thank you to our members for your ongoing support and engagement with the AELERT network over the last 12 months, your contributions have allowed us to develop the vital products and services that deliver on our promise to build the collective regulatory strength and...

read more
Walker Corporation development in Toondah Harbour rejected

Walker Corporation development in Toondah Harbour rejected

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MPMINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATERSTATEMENT Thursday, 18 April 2024 Toondah Harbour Last week I announced my proposed decision to reject an application for development in Toondah Harbour near Brisbane. Today Walker Corporation advised me...

read more
DCCEEW undertakes National Climate Risk Assessment

DCCEEW undertakes National Climate Risk Assessment

DCCEEW released the National Climate Risk Assessment first pass assessment report and National Adaptation Plan on 12 March 2024, these will be important milestones in the work DCCEEW is leading to plan for and adapt to the increasing risks of climate change in...

read more
INECE Network News: March 2024

INECE Network News: March 2024

Events There are 5 previous and upcoming events. For a complete listing of events, please click here. A Primer on Compliance and Enforcement Issues for Plastics Pollution31 January 2024 | Virtual WebinarThe scope and seriousness of plastics pollution has become...

read more
Join the Nature Repair Committee

Join the Nature Repair Committee

The Australian Government is searching for applicants to join the new, statutory Nature Repair Committee and help create a nature positive Australia by providing independent advice on Australia’s world-leading Nature Repair Market. Under the Nature Repair Act 2023,...

read more
$3 million Enforceable Undertaking for Quarry

$3 million Enforceable Undertaking for Quarry

On 23 November 2023, DESI accepted an enforceable undertaking from a company in relation to impacts to freehold land and a road reserve that occurred following a hard rock quarry blast at their Quarry in May 2019 (see image). The impacted land has been in continuous...

read more