Albert Wiggan: Conservationist of the Year 2019

By Australian Geographic 1 November 2019
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Albert Wiggan is the 2019 Conservationist of the Year.

A traditional owner and Bardi-Kija-Nyul Nyul man from the Dampier Peninsula of Western Australia, Albert Wiggan is passionate about culture, country and Indigenous science.

The 38 year old is an Indigenous ranger with the Nyul Nyul ranger group and manages the delicate relationship between Western science and Indigenous teachings to preserve the sparkling waters of Boddergron (Cygnet Bay) and the ecologically rich lands across the peninsula and beyond it.

When the government tried to build the world’s largest LNG gas export terminal at James Price Point (a vital marine sanctuary, home to Songlines and dinosaur footprints), Albert lobbied the Supreme Court and fronted a blockade until the developer withdrew from the project.

He is also Deputy Chair of the Kimberley Indigenous Saltwater Science project, Indigenous Chair for Bilbies Australia’s National Recovery Team, and is the Nyul Nyul representative on the board of the Kimberley Land Council.

A graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Albert has toured internationally as a speaker and musician (accompanying Australian musician John Butler). He has also appeared in a number of film and TV projects including Undermined, a documentary investigating economic interests on Indigenous-held lands throughout the Kimberley region (which he co-produced) and the natural history series Outback broadcast on Channel 9 and PBS in 2018. He has also delivered a TedXTalk promoting the need to recognise Indigenous ecological knowledge as science.

You can download and watch the full series of Outback here.