Rose Lonesborough, IUCN World Parks Congress Youth Ambassador

Wreck Bay community, Jervis Bay, south coast of New South Wales, Australia

Rose is inspiring a whole new generation of Indigenous kids to get jobs in conservation management.

Rose is a member of the Indigenous Wreck Bay community on the south coast of New South Wales. She works as a ranger at Booderee National Park, jointly managed by the people of Wreck Bay and Parks Australia.

Through the park’s junior ranger programme, Rose is getting kids from her community to understand and care for their environment.

“We’ve just done a big clean up together. We helped the kids to take photos and create worksheets that show what rubbish we had picked up. They made up graphs to show how long it takes to really breakdown, and we discussed the impact that this rubbish has on our park, the ocean and the world,” she said.

“Looking at human impacts is really important here. We took them to Green Patch Beach – where most of our visitors go to in the park – and then looked at Bristol Beach where visitation is not as high, so most rubbish they see comes washed in from the ocean.”

“By training these kids, teaching them about what’s important, we are creating future park managers. They live and have been brought up in the park. Now they are learning about what’s actually happening here but also what’s happening out there in the world.”

Rose has been selected as a Youth Ambassador for the IUCN World Parks Congress, taking place in Sydney from 12 to 19 November.

Rose said she was honoured by her selection as Youth Ambassador and looked forward to meeting up with people from all around the world.

“It’s a big learning curve for me, but I’m looking forward to listening to other people. I want to bring back whatever I can, to help the park and our community,” she said.

Since becoming a ranger at Booderee National Park, Rose has had a variety of experiences – from meeting and talking with His Royal Highness Prince Harry to handling venomous snakes.

Rose’s family has a long history in the park. Her grandfather was a ranger and today she works alongside her uncle in the natural and cultural resources team. 

Rose is contributing blogs to the Parks Australia website to share her experiences in the lead up to World Parks Congress.

Read Rose’s stories.

Find out more about the IUCN World Parks Congress programme

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