Meet the Glenthorne rangers

Meet the Glenthorne rangers

Jae Ellis and Court­ney Hein­jus have been named as two of the Glen­thorne Nation­al Park rangers, with a third ranger soon to be announced. Get to know them in this Q & A.

With the open­ing of the Glen­thorne Ranger Sta­tion not too far away, you might be inter­est­ed to find out more about the rangers that have been assigned to take care of the Glen­thorne precinct.

We sat down with Senior Ranger Jae Ellis and new­ly recruit­ed Ranger Court­ney Hein­jus to find out more about their expe­ri­ence and the oppor­tu­ni­ties Glen­thorne Nation­al Park will create.

Q: Jae, you’ve worked in South Australia’s nation­al parks for a num­ber of years now, can you tell us which parks you’ve worked on in Adelaide’s south?

In the past five years, I have focused on O’Halloran Hill Recre­ation Park and Mari­no and Hal­lett Cove con­ser­va­tion parks. I also now help out with Belair and Sturt Gorge. I’ve also had a short stint work­ing from our Willun­ga office where I was focused on Onka­paringa Gorge, Moana and Aldin­ga Scrub. When I first moved into this dis­trict I looked after Brown­hill Creek and Shep­herds Hill. I think it’s safe to say I’ve spent time in most of our south­ern parks in my time!

Q: Jae, what excites you the most about the cre­ation of Glen­thorne Nation­al Park?

I am so excit­ed about the oppor­tu­ni­ties that estab­lish­ing a nation­al park that’s been co-designed with the com­mu­ni­ty will offer! I’m real­ly enjoy­ing engag­ing with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and hear­ing what expe­ri­ences our poten­tial vis­i­tors real­ly want to see pro­vid­ed. It may sound sil­ly or sen­ti­men­tal, but I’m real­ly excit­ed about watch­ing my daugh­ter grow with the park… I see this as a mul­ti-gen­er­a­tional project – I’m doing this for her and her children.

Q: Jae, what’s some­thing spe­cial this area has that isn’t offered elsewhere?

Right now, Glen­thorne Nation­al Park offers us an almost clean slate’. This area offers us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to devel­op expe­ri­ences and spaces that park vis­i­tors will tru­ly feel a stew­ard­ship over – a real con­nec­tion to place.

Q: Jae, can you tell us about any hid­den gems across the precinct that vis­i­tors should know about?

I have a cou­ple – each park has its own unique attrac­tions. I’d like to put the chal­lenge out to fam­i­lies to test out some of our new bike trails at O’Halloran Hill and try to find Frog Rock. At Hal­lett Cove, rather than doing the Coastal Hike with every­one else, check out the Geo­log­i­cal Hike and read about the park’s his­to­ry and res­i­dents along the way. Final­ly, at Mari­no check out the West­ern Heath. This is the last remain­ing intact sec­tion of the veg­e­ta­tion that would have cov­ered the south­ern Ade­laide coast­line before set­tle­ment. Imag­ine how dif­fer­ent it must have been!

Q: Court­ney, you’re new to SA’s nation­al parks. Can you tell us what moti­vat­ed you to become a ranger?

I grew up con­stant­ly being out­doors and often vis­it­ed SA’s nation­al parks. I devel­oped a pas­sion for con­ser­va­tion and ulti­mate­ly want­ed to play my part in pro­tect­ing nat­ur­al envi­ron­ments. I also love inter­act­ing with peo­ple and edu­cat­ing them about con­ser­va­tion issues, which is one of the main roles of a ranger.

Q: Court­ney, what excites you the most about work­ing in a new nation­al park?

Cre­at­ing some­thing from the begin­ning means I can help shape how the park devel­ops and it gives me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see some great projects take flight. I can’t wait to see how ideas on paper are devel­oped into on-ground works and the park starts com­ing together.

Q: Court­ney, what do you think is the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ty for the Glen­thorne property?

It’ll be fan­tas­tic to work with the local com­mu­ni­ty and oth­er stake­hold­ers to devel­op and co-design the space. It’s great to get input from peo­ple who will ulti­mate­ly use the park and will bring in new and excit­ing ideas.