The Strongbala Pipul Wanbala Bois Komiti held a 3-day workshop for the Stronger Communities Program in Ngukurr. They discussed the results of the Community Engagement Study they conducted last year and talked about all the things community members wanted to see happening in Ngukurr.
Community had a strong interest in language education at the school in both Kriol and traditional languages, with financial counselling and other potential activities discussed.
In May, they meet again to go through their budget and assign funding to each of the activities they would like to under-take as part of the Community Plan. We expect to see a lot of great things happening in Ngukurr as a result over the coming 18 months.
Long awaited rains for the wet season have finally arrived in Ngukurr, with solid downpours of around 2 inches every day / night for the last 4 days. As a result, the dirt road in is wet and slippery.
Water is still well below the bridges so access is possible, but travellers are advised to be in a 4WD, with recovery equipment in the event they get bogged. Be advised you will be slipping and sliding through mud – especially on the worst spot of the road which is between the bridges over the Wilton and Roper Rivers. Driving at night is only recommended if you have spotlights as mud will splash and cover your headlights. Also be aware of animals on the road.
We converted one of our old Barges into a 24 seater boat for tourists. The surveyor came out today to do the final checks, with a stability test in the water. With 25 volunteers from community, we put the boat in the water and headed out for a stability test. Thankfully, all went well and nobody fell in.
We look forward to running the boat for our tourists who will be visiting in the dry season from May. Thanks to Daniel Keil of Keil Maritime who conducted the survey.
Yugul Mangi Development has been successful in winning the CDP program tender for the Ngukurr / Urapunga area. Our CDP partners from IEN and ITEC came to community to discuss the process, what was involved in the transition of CDP to Yugul Mangi, and what it would mean for community.
Our Board are looking forward to running CDP in Ngukurr, as it will provide an opportunity to do the programs, activities, and training opportunities that community want to see within our region.
Austin and James from Meertens Chartered Accountants met with members of our Board of Directors today as part of their ORIC Examination of Yugul Mangi Development. ORIC regularly review Aboriginal Corporations registered under the CATSI Act and this year it was our turn.
They advised the Board they were happy with the way Yugul Mangi was operating but they did have some advice on areas that need some extra attention. The Board were very pleased with the discussion.
Our new Store Managers, Tony and Leanne, arrived in community today. We held a meeting at the store to give a chance for everyone to meet the new Managers and get to know them a bit before they begin working.
The staff look forward to working with Tony & Leanne and hope they get along well with our community.
The new subdivision at the bottom of Rainbow Street is almost complete. We’ve been supplying concrete to Yingwati who have been getting the subdivision ready. Power and water are in, the kerbs have been done, and now just the final touches on the concrete driveways and drainage are being made.
One of the new gutters
The subdivision 1 of 2
The subdivision 2 of 2
Unloading the truck
Timson and Lyndsay unload the concrete
Pouring the drains
The next step will be building the houses, with construction expected to start sometime in 2019. More housing will help reduce some of the over-crowding issues, in some cases with up to 14 or more members of one family sharing a 3 bedroom home.
We held our Annual General Meeting of Members yesterday, where we presented the Director’s Report to our Members and elected our Directors for the next two years. We followed it up with a Board Meeting of our new Directors.
We’re pleased to announce the following Directors were appointed to YMD’s Board. Each of the seven clans has two Directors and an Alternate / Proxy:
Alawa: Priscilla Dixon, Roland Lansen, Brian Robertson
Ngalakan: Roger Thompson, Cynthia Turner, Sammy Ponto
Ngandi: Owen Turner, Michael Thompson, Ammeretta Wesan
Mara: Grace Daniels, Melinda Thompson, Emmanuel Huddleston
Wandarrang: Gregory Daniels, Regina Rogers, Kevin Rogers
Nunggubuyu: Bobby Nunggumajbarr, Daphne Daniels, Ambrose Daniels
Ritharrngu: Laurie Wilfred, Benjamin Wilfred, Erica Wilfred
Congratulations to all those who are new faces on our board, as well as those who have retained their positions. We look forward to an exciting year ahead with lots of work for community in the pipeline.
Our first Board Meeting with the new Board.
We’re very proud of our Darlala Motel. Our 22 room motel has expanded to a total of 28 rooms with the addition of 6 extra rooms and a laundry building (offering a long-awaited guest laundry). We had originally applied for an ABA grant to fund the expansion but after 6 months of waiting, we were told our idea had merit but we should seek funding elsewhere. Ultimately, our Directors chose to rely on our own limited trust fund to cover the expansion ourselves.
While this decision will potentially limit what other opportunities we can pursue, the expansion will allow Yugul Mangi Development to take advantage of growing tourism opportunities within the region, as well as increased business as a result of the Wilton and Roper River Crossings. The building should re-pay itself within 5 to 10 years.
Thanks to Demountable Sales & Hire and Bill’s Crane Trucks who helped us make this expansion happen within a tight budget. We look forward to the new buildings being fully furnished and connected to utilities by early next year, ready for our guests.
For the 25th and 26th of September, the Strongbala Pipul Wanbala Bois Komiti met-up with other Stronger Communities for Children program participants in Darwin. The meeting is a regular conference that allows communities to talk about what is and isn’t working, and share ideas amongst each other.
Our Ngukurr Board presented what they had been up to with the Leadership Program, Ngukurr Story Project, and Community Engagement Study all being presented.
The Stronger Communities Program is Federally funded and designed to empower local community decision making to help address many of the issues that exist within remote Indigenous communities in Australia.