Long-term job and commercial opportunities for Indigenous landowners and communities in the State's Far North are growing through the State Government's North West Indigenous Pastoral Project.
In just one year, the $1.4million invested into the project - part of the State Government's $10 million Jobs Accelerator Fund - is delivering encouraging results.
With project partner, the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), the initiative is providing funding and skill sharing to bring five significant Aboriginal-owned properties back into commercial production.
Already, the project outcomes include comprehensive pastoral development plans for all properties; fencing repairs, track remediation and land revegetation; weed management programs; native vegetation and animal species identification and recording; training in fencing, welding, bore drilling and primary production; and Emeroo Station, managed by Bungala Aboriginal Corporation (BAC), restored to working capacity with signed leasing agreements.
The five properties to benefit from the funding are Andamooka, Purple Downs, and Roxby Downs stations Kokatha Pastoral Pty Ltd); Emeroo Station (Bungala Aboriginal Corporation); and APY Lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara).
Bungala Aboriginal Corporation has five full-time employees funded by the North West Indigenous Pastoral Project with plans for them to become a professional fencing contracting team. Other workers on the property have also helped with the restoration of the homestead and are currently helping re-establish gardens on the property, as well as establishing new water infrastructure and grading tracks.
Kokatha Pastoral Pty Ltd is working closely with PIRSA and local Natural Resource Management staff and other environmental initiatives, such as Bush Blitz and Green Army, to strengthen the connection and role of Aboriginal communities in natural resource management and native species identification and knowledge sharing.
Reconciliation Week is held annually from Friday, May 27 to Friday, June 3.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock
National Reconciliation Week is a great time to acknowledge the great results being achieved through this project by the Indigenous pastoral groups, their staff and project partners, including the Indigenous Land Corporation.
Sixteen workers are currently employed with a total of 23 employed over the life of the project.
This is a wonderful example of effective and productive collaboration between Government, Aboriginal landholders and the private sector.
The benefits of this project will flow not just throughout the North West Pastoral region, but across the State.
Quotes attributable to CEO Bungala Aboriginal Corporation Rob Laundy
The funding we received through the North West Indigenous Pastoral Project helped us move ahead with our plans to restore Emeroo property a lot faster and, as a result, we're seeing the rewards a lot sooner too.
We've employed five full-time staff under the grant, and they've undertaken kilometres of new fencing, as well as developing skills in welding, water infrastructure and track maintenance.
We're now working to turn this team of skilled workers into a professional contracting business. It's a great result.
Quotes attributable to Chair Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation (owners of Kokatha Pastoral Pty Ltd) Chris Larkin
The North West Indigenous Pastoral Project funds have contributed enormously to our efforts to protect and restore the pastoral heritage of our communities and this region.
This project is far more than up-skilling and providing jobs for our young people. It's about reconnecting them with their country and our role and history of stock and pastoral work that many of our parents and grandparents were involved in.
There's a triple bottom line for us in this sort of project. It's about jobs and setting up a sustainable economic future for our community.
It's also about acknowledging and reconnecting with our history and significant role in South Australia's pastoral and land management past. It's about acknowledging and protecting our history of contact between desert people and pastoralists - and includes looking after our historic buildings, infrastructure and pastoral heritage for all South Australians.