In­dige­nous lead­ers to drive changes

Pilbara News - - News - Glenn Cord­ing­ley, Court­ney Fowler and Ben Leahy

■ Eight Abo­rig­i­nal lead­ers have been ap­pointed to help drive ma­jor re­forms to the way in­fra­struc­ture and ser­vices are pro­vided to in­dige­nous WA com­mu­ni­ties.

They will join Strate­gic Re­gional Ad­vi­sory Coun­cils be­ing es­tab­lished in the Pil­bara and Kim­ber­ley to ad­vise the State Gov­ern­ment.

The Pil­bara SRAC mem­bers are Adrian Brahim from Port Hed­land, Martu woman Kate Ge­orge, Kar­ratha’s Triscilla Hol­borow and Dampier’s Jason Mas­ters.

Pa­trick Davies from Fitzroy Cross­ing, Martin Si­bosado from Broome, Bea­gle Bay woman Mary O’Reeri and Brenda Gar­stone from Ku­nunurra will be on the Kim­ber­ley SRAC.

Child Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter He­len Mor­ton and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man are head­ing the longterm process.

The State Gov­ern­ment claims the move is nec­es­sary to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion, health and em­ploy­ment out­comes for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple liv­ing in re­gional and re­mote ar­eas.

The Pil­bara News caught up with two Pil­bara SRAC mem­bers.

Mr Brahim was born and bred in Port Hed­land and has spent much of his work­ing life with In­dige­nous Af­fairs in the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment.

He was also the chair­man of the Ngarda Ngarli Yarndu Re­gional Coun­cil for 10 years and spent much of his adult life in the Gold­fields and the Kim­ber­ley.

He is part of the BHP Bil­li­ton com­mu­nity team.

Mr Brahim said it ap­peared SRAC mem­bers would be pro­vid­ing ad­vice to se­nior man­age­ment in gov­ern­ment to look at pol­icy pro­grams and how ser­vices were de­liv­ered to in­dige­nous peo­ple.

“Es­pe­cially in the ar­eas of em­ploy­ment, the op­por­tu­ni­ties I see are pos­si­bly do­ing land man­age­ment set­tle­ment ar­eas … which link back to peo­ple’s tra­di­tional cul­tures,” he said.

“By cre­at­ing those pro­cesses and op­por­tu­ni­ties, it cre­ates a path­way for peo­ple so there is a need for early ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams lead­ing into train­ing and em­ploy­ment as the fo­cus at the end of the path­way.”

Mr Mas­ters is a Gu­ruma man born in New­man and raised in Roe­bourne and Hed­land be­fore fin­ish­ing his school­ing in Perth.

He has worked in courts and has taken on univer­sity stud­ies as well as work­ing with the Rio Tinto na­tive ti­tle team be­fore tak­ing on his cur­rent role as ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ku­ruma Marthudunera.

Mr Mas­ters said he be­lieved sup­port­ing Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple’s eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion was the key to the com­mu­nity be­com­ing self-sus­tain­ing.

“I hope to as­sist my com­mu­nity to ac­cess the sig­nif­i­cant flow of ben­e­fits for re­gional de­vel­op­ment, which will cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the main­stream econ­omy,” he said.

“The idea of this re­form and com­mit­tee feels quite pos­i­tive.”

Ms Ge­orge who works in the Pil­bara, and was the first Abo­rig­i­nal woman ad­mit­ted to le­gal prac­tice in WA, and Ms Hol­borow, the owner of Abo­rig­i­nal em­ploy­ment com­pany REFAP, were un­avail­able for com­ment at time of print.

Pic­ture: Mary Meagher

Pil­bara SRAC mem­ber Adrian Brahim.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.