July day hon­ours rangers

Shepparton News - Country News - - OPINION -

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 4.1 mil­lion hectares of moun­tains, deserts, forests and coast­line, an area about the size of Switzer­land.

Loves her of­fice . . . Parks Vic­to­ria com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ranger Emma Bant­ing spoke to Coun­try News about her role on World Ranger Day. Her ‘‘of­fice’’ she says, ‘‘is beau­ti­ful’’. Pic­ture: Sam Coles

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