Celebrating the ‘Ranger Spirit’ on World Ranger Day

Date posted: 31 July 2017

Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Water and the River Murray   

South Australia’s 93 rangers deserve special commendation today – World Ranger Day – for their commitment to protecting our environment, and three have been awarded for their work this year.

The South Australian Ranger Association (SARA) introduced ‘In The Ranger Spirit’ awards this year and awarded them to: 

  • SA Murray-Darling Basin region Senior Ranger Stuart Hicks and District Officer Joel Horn, for rescuing a school student from Lake Alexandrina. The pair used a duck hunter’s boat and radios from the school group to rescue the boy.

  • Port Augusta-based Wildlife Officer Christine Arnold for her mentoring of fellow staff and ongoing support of the Thin Green Line Foundation, the fundraising arm of the International Ranger Federation. Christine has mentored staff in the Kangaroo Management Program, sharing her experience with aerial kangaroo surveys. She also sparked a campaign that raised more than $5000 for the Thin Green Line Foundation.


World Ranger Day is celebrated annually on 31 July to commemorate rangers killed or injured on duty and to acknowledge the critical work rangers do to protect wildlife, culture, and communities.

SARA holds events for World Ranger Day to raise money for the Thin Green Line Foundation, which provides support for rangers injured at work and their families, as well as training and equipping rangers in less-developed countries.

Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter

World Ranger Day is a time to acknowledge the great work of DEWNR staff working closely with the environment.

We’re fortunate in Australia to have environmental protections that support rangers to do their jobs. This means our rangers have safer working conditions than in some other countries.

Fundraising to support those working in more dangerous environments reflects the selfless nature of our rangers.

I congratulate the three South Australian rangers who were recognised with awards this year and thank them for their selfless service.

Quotes attributable to SARA President Derek Snowball

The motivation for creating the “In the Ranger Spirit Award” has been about recognising not only park rangers but all environmental workers.

Through the award, SARA is celebrating individuals who have embodied the ranger spirit, through selfless acts to benefit the environment and those who enjoy it.

The “In the Ranger Spirit Award” celebrates ranger qualities of passion, dedication, persistence, ethical conviction, ingenuity, courage, mentoring and stewardship.

SARA as a professional association is well supported by DEWNR in comparison to ranger associations in some other states.

We’re lucky in South Australia, as environmental professionals, that DEWNR actively supports us and what we do to raise awareness about the challenges facing rangers in other countries. 

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