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Maitland Parker grew up in the bush and went to school at Nullagine and Onslow living at Gillimia Hostel, before going to Derby High School. Parker worked at Nanutarra and Minderoo stations as a stockman until 1980 when he left because they refused to pay award wages. Parker later trained as a Health worker, before completing training as a Ranger with the Department of Conservation and Land Management which enabled him to work on his traditional lands.