The Wilinggin rangers are rejuvenating community and creating a green economy on the northern Kimberley plateau.

Story + Photos Annette Ruzicka 

Take the iconic Gibb River Road out of Derby, WA, and you hit the northern Kimberley plateau, a breathtaking landscape of sandstone ranges, rivers and boab-dotted savannah country. It is unlike anywhere else in the world. A couple of hours into the drive and you reach the Queen Victoria Head rock formation bearing an uncanny resemblance to the profile of the famous monarch. It’s a blunt reminder of European settlement and a mark of colonialism in the Kimberley. 

This is the gateway to Wilinggin country of the Ngarinyin people, and it stays that way for the next 63,000sq km. Robin Dann, a Ngarinyin man and Traditional Owner, used to climb the limestone cliffs that surround ‘the Head’ as a younger man. “It’s rough and rugged out here mate,” he says. “From here onwards, this is my country, I speak for it and my people.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #129

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2020