Jack Riley couldn't hide his excitement as he set foot in the old school hall on Cape Barren Island/truwana - a building where he used to spend most of his days as a child.
It had been six years since he was last on the island, and even longer since he was in the hall.
The memories instantly flooded back.
"It's awesome looking at everything and how things have changed," Jack said.
"I went to primary school in this building. I was here for five or six years.
"There's photos of my father mutton birding over here when he was six.
"I've got heaps of connections to here."
The hall is now the office for the truwana Ranger program, which started in 2015 to allow Aboriginal people to return to carry out environmental and cultural work to heal the landscape, protect native animals and find ways of living sustainably using the island's natural assets.
Jack had caught a light aircraft from Bridport that morning for his first day with the seven other rangers.
He had partially completed studying to be a tour guide through TasTAFE where he researched native birds, insects, flora and corrosion, and always had an ambition of returning to truwana.
"I had a big transformation in my life travelling from down south to up north, and I got wind of the ranger stuff going on, that there were positions available, it was what I wanted to do," Jack said.
The island has had a difficult history for Aboriginal people, from the impact of sealers during colonisation, to forced removals as part of the Stolen Generation.
Disease, particularly tuberculosis, ravaged communities on the island in the early 20th century and resulted in settlements being burnt down in an attempt to escape the condition. A reliance on the mutton birding season also caused food shortages in the 1950s.
More recently, wildfire spread from west to east in 2016 - the second significant fire in the space of a few years.
Yet through these challenges, truwana and its people have always held their strong connection to the land. And now they are completing work to ensure its future.
Through the truwana Ranger program, they hope to avoid the environmental issues of the past.
When Jack arrived, he joined the other rangers who were doing water monitoring - checking the point of salinity to fresh water, and oxygen levels in the water, within the creeks that cross the island.
This is to ensure conditions are ideal for native species, particularly rare species like the Mount Munro burrowing crayfish. Mapping them and developing management plans is the goal.
Their work has also uncovered new freshwater springs, one of which ranger co-ordinator Fiona Maher drank straight out of with her hands to demonstrate its safety.
"The plan is to map all those freshwater springs so the community and visitors to the island know where they can source water if they need to," she said.
Removing box thorn, gorse and sea spurge were also priorities, but it was research work that had never been carried out on the island before that could be the among the most important.
Last year rangers found potoroos living on truwana, a discovery confirmed by DPIPWE.
"They were seen and photographed coming out where we'd burnt," Fiona said.
"No one knew they were on the island. We don't know how big the colonies are, but that's something we'll do in the future."
A study recording the sounds of birds will be sent off for analysis, while work with BirdLife Australia found the largest fairy tern colony in Tasmania.
Each discovery results in further research to identify threats and improve native habitats.
But the threat of fire has loomed large.
Special effort has gone into training rangers as remote area firefighters and, when fire broke out at Puncheon Head on the island's north coast recently, no TFS assistance was required potentially saving millions of dollars on helicopter support costs.
A seasonal calendar has been developed to guide when to carry out cool burns, drawing on the native cues from plants and trees.
The creeks have been identified as natural assets to prevent a fire from spreading across the island and special areas - such as breeding grounds for rare species - also receive extra protection.
Passing down cultural activities key to future
Going mutton birding with his family was Jack Riley's most cherished memory from his time growing up on truwana.
"The way I see it, mutton birding is a way for the family to come together," he said.
"It's not just going to do mutton birding just for the sake of it, it's about catching up with everybody.
"It's like Christmas."
Throughout April, rangers are taking boats to nearby islands to use sticks known as "ticklers" to tease out the birds from their burrows. It's just one of many traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next on truwana.
Ranger June Brown's knowledge of the island's shells is deeper than almost anyone's - a knowledge she has carried with her since childhood.
Just like her ancestors, she scans the beaches for shells like limpet and periwinkle - some are a source of food, others are essential for shell stringing. Some are on the shore, others require swimming.
Every beach has its own unique shells.
Many shell stringers, especially the older generations, have left the island but Fiona says their skills will not be forgotten.
"You have older people who live on mainland Tassie who are too old or frail to get back here, so it's important for us to continue their legacy as well," she said.
"It's helping those old girls.
"We hope we are able to collect shells for them because they aren't able to anymore, then we can share knowledge with them."
This traditional understanding of truwana also helps locals to know when certain fruit-bearing plants are ready to be accessed.
At the airfield, June points to bird droppings left by black jays.
She says when you start to see purple, the pepper berries are ripe on the mountain and are ready for use in food preparation.
The native plants all have their own uses, like treatments for various types of rashes or skin conditions, or to settle an upset stomach.
It forms a complete cultural picture of truwana - something that can be passed on to next generations, including through the Junior Ranger program.
Some of the newly-acquired knowledge also points to the past.
Old tombstones were ploughed up in a field in the 1970s.
Through meticulous research, the rangers were able to determine the identity of each deceased person and their cause of death, many of which were young children.
There are now plans to construct a permanent cemetery to properly honour these people.
Bringing people home
John Gardner has lived on truwana for the last eight years, and had several stints on the island before that too.
He enjoys seeing people return home - and believes the ranger program is giving them that chance.
"It's a local job," John said.
"It's another avenue for employment for the island because there's such low employment."
The island was returned to Aboriginal people in 2005, and the ranger program was developed 10 years later with some rangers already moving on to full-time employment with government bodies.
It received a two-year extension from the Commonwealth Government last year.
Graeme Gardner, the manager of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania, said the ranger program went much deeper than simply land management.
"We're providing work on truwana which has allowed some individuals to return, who always wanted to return, but weren't in a position to do so," he said.
"In doing so, they brought young kids who help with the school numbers.
"They learn about the island so that, in the future, we'll have some new leaders in how things are managed."