The Helen Tribe Traineeship was created in memory of the late Helen Tribe by her family, and a group of close friends, Helen’s Tribe: Robbie Macintosh, Glynn O’ Neill, Pam Rudder, Pia Francesca Ruggeri and Anita Belgiorno-Nettis.

This traineeship, in partnership with the Kimberley Land Council and the Karajarri Traditional Lands Association, supports the education and professional pathways for Indigenous women rangers in the Kimberley.

Marissa, a young Karajarri woman, was awarded the first Helen Tribe Traineeship in March 2019. Through the traineeship, Marissa has been practicing both traditional and western styles of land management. As a Karajarri Ranger, her activities have included fire management, biodiversity monitoring and research, cultural site management, cultural awareness and immersion experiences, feral animal and weed management and the facilitation of tourism on Karajarri land. By combining on-the-job training in an established ranger team with TAFE certification in Conservation and Land Management, the traineeship empowers female rangers to run projects independently, as they learn the technical skills required and build their confidence.

The Helen Tribe Traineeship sits within an integrated program that supports Indigenous rangers to connect and provides professional development opportunities, employment, and advocacy. This work is made possible thanks to many partners investing across the broad program and individual projects, together ensuring the longevity and success of this important work.

We recently interviewed Anita about the Traineeship, and here’s what she said:

“It was Helen’s passion to support and empower women for the benefit of society, and it continues to be ours. I was impressed by the breadth of WWF’s activities. It’s so much more than ecosystems and species work. The Helen Tribe Traineeship expresses this belief in the context of women in Country. I saw the positive impact WWF had achieved through the Seed Bank project and Women Ranger Environmental Network (WREN), and saw an opportunity to jointly expand on this work.

Helen’s Tribe strongly believes in the empowerment of women. We believe in the importance of women on Country: supporting women, relying on friends, nurturing and helping each other to grow.” Anita continues, “We have found WWF’s work to be science-driven and professional, and it has helped us channel our passion and hope in constructively supporting Indigenous women.”