Overview of desert and bush land seen from above

Indigenous knowledge has a lot to offer organisations with a culture of listening, learning and understanding to solve complex problems, in this case feral pest control.

Ventia is partnering with Indigenous business Tracks in the Sand who use traditional knowledge and practices to control wild dogs - and save the lives of countless native animals - on Department of Defence bases.

Founded by Ronald Boland in 2019, Tracks in the Sand employs traditional techniques and an intimate knowledge of the landscapes and its fauna to control wild dogs without the use of chemical baits.

The wholly Indigenous-owned company also provides local indigenous young people with career and training opportunities and a stronger connection with land and culture.

"What I found with a lot of these young fellas is they actually enjoy being out on the land," Mr Boland said.

"It's a time where we can mentor these young fellas, show them a lot of land management skills', he said.

We actually feel proud to be part of Ventia and Defence. It's been a very positive experience.

Red desert with bushland and outline of tracks

Tracks in the Sand works with traditional techniques and an intimate knowledge of the Australian landscapes.


Ronald, who started working at age 13 on remote cattle stations, said "young Aboriginal people have the potential, ability and skills to do great things". 

"We just have to provide them with the right opportunities and mentoring, and that's why, throughout my life, I have been involved in organisations to help them develop these skills and become future leaders within their communities," he said.

Making a positive impact

Group Executive - Defence & Social Infrastructure Derek Osborn said the growing number of partnerships with remarkable local businesses like Tracks in the Sand enabled Ventia to progress a number of sustainability objectives and its overall mission 'to make a positive impact on the people and the world around us'.

"In particular, we have a strong commitment to increasing Indigenous participation across our operations, and have set an ambitious target of 4.8%," Derek said. 

Tracks in the Sand is one of hundreds of Indigenous businesses across Australia with which Ventia partners, with contracts totalling $84 million 2021.

"It also supports our commitment to providing employment and business opportunities locally, with more than 40% of our workforce living in regional and rural Australia."

Derek said Indigenous Business Month throughout October, whose theme has been ACTIONS TODAY, IMPACT TOMORROW, had provided corporate Australia with a timely opportunity to explore ways of improving outcomes for Indigenous Australians that are both commercially savvy and environmentally sustainable.

Watch more about Tracks in the Sand in the video below.