Martu access remote country with the help of a helicopter

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The 2018 helicopter mapping trips started in April this year with a three-day trip out to Paru and two days in Kunawarritji. 

The Paru trip was supported by the Punmu ranger team and involved five people from Bidyadanga. The mapping was led by elder Muuki Taylor. During the two days of flying, Muuki located and named seven sites and corrected the names of four previously known sites.

Some rangers and participants from Bidyadanga went with Muuki on mapping flights while others visited nearby sites, made tracks to sites found during the mapping sessions, and did some ground burning. Muuki also did some remote mapping sessions with KJ staff to further add to WANYJA (waterhole database).

Following Paru, the chopper moved to Kunawarritji for community-based fire and mapping work. This was supported by the Kunawarritji ranger team, who were very enthusiastic and engaged with the mapping activities, ground-burning, aerial incendiary work and site visits.  

Kumpaya Girgirba and her grandson Clifton Girgirba came to the community to map her country and over two mornings mapped three sites south east of Kunawarritji. Kumpaya and Clifton also did some remote mapping sessions which will add new sites and walking lines to WANYJA.

In May, the chopper went out for a three-day mapping trip at the old Mulyarlkirri outcamp, north of the Percival Lakes. Elders Thelma Judson and Yikartu Bamba were supported by the Punmu and Kunawarritji ranger team as well as some family members from Hedland and Parnngurr. While Thelma and Yikartu mapped locations with some younger family members, the ranger teams visited sites that had been located by the elders. One highlight was a day trip making a track from the camp to Milkarra, approximately 100km away. Milkarra is a very special site for the Judson family, as it is where Thelma’s father passed away.  Everyone was very happy to be able to visit this very special place.