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Central Desert has been supporting communities to manage their own land since 2009. 

It was the remit of the Land and Community team to support native title bodies with: 
  • land management program development, including Indigenous ranger employment and training programs,
  • promoting partnerships between native title communities and other organisations for mutual benefit.
Much of this work is funded through project-specific grants.

This work is the foundation of Desert Support Services (DSS) which was formed from the Central Desert’s Land and Community team to commence operations in 2011.

DSS is a stand alone, not-for-profit company set up to help Desert groups start up and run ranger teams on their country and develop business opportunities around land and culture

Why is this work so important?

Indigenous managed conservation estates underpin and drive tremendous cultural, social, economic and environmental opportunities for its Indigenous landowners.

Find out more about Desert Support Services here 

Since its creation Desert Support Services has achieved:

5 IPAs

Co-managment of 5 Indigenous Protected Areas

Ranger groups assisted to start up 

Millions of dollars $

Worth of programs transitioned to Aboriginal Corporations 


Over 20 

Community development programs co-managed with Aboriginal Corporations and communities

1.65 million hectares 

of country under Indigenous land management


Aboriginal Rangers trained and employed


Kuju Wangka – One Indigenous Voice for the Canning Stock Route

Central Desert and DSS have been important partners of the Canning Stock Route since 2008. This included an initiative coordinated by the Australian National University (ANU) for an Indigenous led management plan for the Canning Stock Route (CSR). 

Funding from the Australian Government was later used by Central Desert, Kimberley Land Council, and Jamukurnu Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation (formerly WDLAC) to facilitate the establishment of a pan-Indigenous working group - Kuju Wangka (‘One voice’). 

Today, following further funding support from the Indigenous Desert Alliance (IDA), DSS houses the Kuja Wangka project, and employs a project Coordinator who facilitates monthly meetings of the Kuju Wangka working group.

In this unique forum, Traditional Owner representatives from PBCs from along the CSR set out their priorities for this iconic, 2000km long four-wheel drive track with a deep, vibrant and continuing Indigenous history.