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Central Desert News Community asks for mediation assistance


hanks to funding provided by Granites Mine Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation, Kurt Noble recently commenced work in Willowra as the dedicated, full-time Mediation and Justice Coordinator. Kurt has worked in a wide range of fields and has over 25 years’ experience in mediation specialising in Indigenous mediation and restorative justice systems. This position came about as a result of a direct request from the Willowra community who felt the need for a full-time mediation presence. The program will be launched in Willowra in August with an invitation extended to community and partner organisations. Stakeholders will have the opportunity at this time to develop the terms of reference of the program. CDRC’s Mediation and Justice program has been running successfully in Yuendumu since 2012 with some part-time resources devoted to

Kurt Noble appointed in Willowra as Mediation and Justice Coordinator.

Willowra. The move to a full-time staff member will benefit both communities and we welcome Kurt to this important role and congratulate Engawala Local Authority for suggesting the initiative.

Willowra community and the Lander River from the air.

EDITION NO. 34 / JUNE 2017

INSIDE Community asks for mediation assistance


From the President


A message from the outgoing CEO


Indigenous Family Violence Conference


One more reason to visit your Aged Care facility


What do you get when you cross a mass of butcher’s paper with 120 staff?


Australian Local Government National Assembly


Mediation and Justice to roll out empathy based program


Volunteers create fun and activity in our region


Outback way to open up tourism


Renewed focus on developing tourism and business opportunities for the Region


6 Mile Activity Centre


Spaghetti Bolognaise


National Quality Standards transition underway


Family Wellbeing continues to be a major focus through training and education for frontline workers


Two levels of government working towards greener communities


Utopia service provision kicks off


Fire season not too far away


$200 million for remote communities


Central Desert teams too strong in NT Softball 7s


Southern Tanami Kurdiji: A cultural authority model for local decision making


New skills for job seekers showcased at Alice Springs Show


The region’s largest jigsaw puzzle


CDP Activity Liaison Engagement Officers meeting 15 Trachoma at 5% by 2020

Central Desert News is published by Central Desert Regional Council PO Box 2257 ALICE SPRINGS NT 0871 Ph 1300 360 605 Please send your stories to


From the President T

In 2013, Cathryn Hutton met former Governor General, now the Honourable Dame, Quentin Bryce AD CVO.

Cathryn Hutton in 2015 at Lajamanu to mark Minister Price’s visit with the Council’s President and Deputy President and members of the Local Authority.

his edition of Central Desert News marks the close of an important chapter in the organisation’s history with Chief Executive Officer Cathryn Hutton leaving us. Cathryn commenced in the role of Corporate Services Director in 2010, straight from the City of Busselton in Western Australia. She started at a challenging time, not long after the amalgamation of the six community Government Councils into one Regional Council. As CEO, Cathryn worked hard to develop the organisation’s identity, to build a cohesive team and develop strong, routine business and governance practices and reporting tools. She was very focused on employee training and development and led a strong push to successfully increase Indigenous employment. Cathryn was committed to the organisation’s vision, mission and values and always encouraged projects that led to an improvement in lifestyle and wellbeing for community members. Cathryn’s legacy will be seen in the future with the continued implementation of the Family Wellbeing Strategy, the development of economic opportunities, not just for Council but community members, and the continued expansion of our municipal services. Cathryn has left a strong base for our next CEO, Dianne Wood, who will commence on 7 August. Dianne is a born and bred Alice Springs woman who has worked with a number of local councils around the country, including as CEO of MacDonnell Shire Council. We congratulate Dianne on her successful application amongst a very strong and large field. Council looks forward to benefiting from Dianne’s extensive experience.

CEO Cathryn Hutton signing the newly adopted Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with former CDP staff member (2013).

Cathryn Hutton worked long and hard with myself and the Councillors to build a strong Council. In this edition of Central Desert News we also say goodbye and thank you to this group of men and women who have been together for five years. For those leaving us, I wish you well and thank you for commitment to your constituents, your communities and to the organisation and its values. For those who have nominated to be on Council in the coming term, I wish you luck and look forward to the forming of the new Council on 14 September 2017. In addition, Council’s nine Local Authorities will spill in August. We thank the outgoing LA members and look forward to new (and existing) faces working with Council to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in the region. Again, my thanks and best wishes go to Cathryn, Dianne, the existing Council and Local Authorities as well as to those who have supported them. I look forward to what comes next for Central Desert Regional Council. Adrian Dixon President

Cathryn Hutton celebrating Central Desert Shire’s fifth birthday with staff in 2013 at Lajamanu.


A message from the outgoing CEO A s this will be the last Central Desert News for me as CEO of Council, I am in a rather reflective mood. I have been with Council for the last seven years and during my time here I have seen both the Council and its communities change. As an organisation we have come a long way. I joined Council very soon after its creation from various community government councils. The amalgamation of the councils and the creation of the new Local Government Act transformed the way councils operated in the bush. The early period was difficult for both the organisation and for its communities as we all adjusted to a new way of doing things. Within the organisation we had to find a common purpose and learn what it was like to share services and work as a single organisation. For our communities, you had to work out how to make your voice heard and maintain your sense of identity within a larger council region. Looking back on this period I appreciate the commitment and good will of our existing council staff and community members. I also appreciate

the tremendous effort of our Councillors and local members (whether Local Authority members or members of the previous Local Boards). Our Council has a clear vision of ‘two ways; one outcome’ and I have seen this vision continually advocated by our Councillors. It doesn’t matter whether this means Yapa and Kardiya working together or whether it means Warlpiri and Anmatjere working together. What matters is that, through a shared vision and teamwork, working together we can achieve great things. I would like to thank everyone for making my stay with the Central Desert Regional Council so enjoyable. I look back with pride at the many achievements of the Council and take some personal satisfaction in the belief that, in some small way, I have helped this Council be the great place that it is. I would like to wish you all the very best for the future. Cathryn Hutton Chief Executive Officer

Staff and Councillors gather to farewell CEO Cathryn Hutton who set sail from the CDRC chambers in late June 2017.


Indigenous Family Violence Conference T

he Central Desert Regional Council and the Southern Tanami Kurdiji took centre stage at the recent Indigenous Family Violence Conference held in June in Alice Springs. The Conference was sponsored by the Northern Territory Police and the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation and focused on key strategies and real-life success stories that work to reduce violence in Aboriginal communities. The Council’s Community Safety Patrol Program and the Southern Tanami Kurdiji Mediation and Justice program were one of the topics of discussion at the conference. The aim was to highlight grassroots initiatives that enable Aboriginal people to take control and deal with their own disputes before they escalate to become larger problems that are difficult to manage. Mediators Freddy Williams, Valerie Martin, Madeleine Dixon, and Lottie and Eddie Robertson were joined by Director of Community Services John Gaynor, Manager of Youth and Communities Anthony Murphy and Mediation and Justice Coordinator Rhys Aconley-Jones to present six 10-minute presentations to the conference delegates. The presentations

were well received and the program, underpinned by its cultural authority, was publicly commended at the conclusion of the conference. The Council is working with the Southern Tanami Kurdiji and Burdon Torzillo Consultants to transition the Yuendumu’s Community Safety Program from one controlled and supported by Council to one that is a fully independent Aboriginal Corporation by 30 June 2018.

Eddie Robertson from Yuendumu presenting at the Indigenous Family Violence Conference in Alice Springs.

One more reason to visit your Aged Care facility


Bundles of warmth have arrived for aged care clients.


ust as the temperature plummeted across the region, a bundle of ‘care packages’ arrived on the desk of Aged Care Manager Katie Snell: parcel after parcel of handmade knee rugs donated by men and women from all over the country. Behind the initiative was a group called ‘Caring for Communities’. This benevolent working group was started by a mother and daughter team from Port Hedland who, through Facebook, recruited an ever-growing bunch of men and women who knit and crochet goodies all year round to donate to organisations such as ours. At last count, we were up to 150 rugs and they are still coming! The colourful and creative rugs will be used in our aged care facilities to add to the warmth and ambience of the centres. Being warm is, of course, vital for aged care clients in the desert who are more susceptible to illness during winter. A heartfelt thank you to the Caring for Communities working group for their time, effort and consideration of our clients. Thank you also to Sue Ware, Engawala’s Aged & Disability Coordinator, for her work coordinating the project on Council’s behalf. If you would like to join the group and contribute to other worthwhile projects, please contact

What do you get when you cross a mass of butcher’s paper with 120 staff? F

ebruary and March are planning season at Central Desert Regional Council and this year it was an unusually large undertaking. Each of the directorates undertook their planning based on the structure of their work units and, in a rare occurrence for an organisation that covers 280,000 sq km, 120 of the 220 Community Services staff came together under one roof. Armed with the planning essentials – butcher’s paper, whiteboard markers and mints – they discussed what they saw as their job, what their stakeholders saw as their job, what their stakeholders wanted, what their stakeholders were happy with, what a good service looks like and what they could do better. Collectively, the four teams that make up the Community Services Directorate committed to five major outcomes:

1. Staff training and workforce development: – a well-trained workforce performs better, leading to improved outcomes, improved client satisfaction and increases job satisfaction 2. Local people in jobs: – more community people in positions of leadership and authority leading to a higher level of local decision making – increased number of male age and disability workers 3. Strong culture and culturally safe services: – an intergenerational wellbeing service model which focuses on culturally safe cradle-to-grave services and facilitates community involvement in decision making 4. Delivery of client needs and aspirations: – client and customer surveys providing meaningful 360˚ feedback – program performance reviews – quality improvement plans

What’s important for the Community Services team at their recent planning day.

The Community Services Planning Cave

5. Communication: – a detailed communication strategy to serve stakeholders; internal and external; inter-program and intra-program Exchanges of ideas between teams also identified the following five areas as being important to staff and clients: – – – – – –

Patsy Tilmouth from the Engawala Aged and Disability team at the recent Community Services Planning day.

improved support from HQ more activities on community improved variety of food (School Nutrition Program/Aged Care) opportunities to visit other communities to exchange experiences and ideas improved facilities and equipment increased number of night patrol positions

These outcomes have been dissected, included in the Council’s Strategic Plan and implementation has commenced. Key performance indicators have been set and scorecards are being developed to ensure that Community Services teams are accountable and transparent in reporting to our Local Authorities, Council and other stakeholders. Thank you to all Community Services staff who contributed their invaluable ideas and to our facilitators, Ken and Marg Johnson. The image above shows the ‘Community Services Planning Cave’ which was set up to ensure managers captured the ideas, priorities and actions that staff identified as important during our planning day. This information has been captured in CDRC’s Corporate Plan which sets the direction for the organisation for the coming year. CENTRAL DESERT REGIONAL COUNCIL NEWSLETTER • 5

Australian Local Government National Assembly C ouncil sent a delegation to this year’s Australian Local Government National Assembly held recently in Canberra. The Assembly is an annual meeting of most Australian councils, where issues of importance to local government are debated and positions resolved. The CDRC delegation consisted of President Adrian Dixon, Deputy President Norbert Patrick and Councillor James Glenn. Officers in attendance were directors John Gaynor and Craig Catchlove. The National Assembly enabled our delegation to raise their concerns directly with Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and the Minister responsible for Emergency Management Michael Keenan about the future of the Community Development Program, the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements and road repair. In addition to attending workshops and plenary sessions, the opportunity

was taken to meet up with the Federal politicians who represent our region at Parliament House and seek their assistance with matters of importance to Council. However, sitting in on the House of Representatives question time certainly didn’t provide any tips on how to hold a civilised and polite debate! Overall, attendance at the event was a worthwhile experience for our attendees, although fog and freezing morning temperatures were not universally appreciated – the Deputy President’s beanie rarely left his head!

Crs Glenn and Patrick with members of the Tent Embassy.

Mediation and Justice to roll out empathy-based program T wo of the Council’s Mediation and Justice program (Southern Tanami Kurdiji) staff were recently awarded full scholarships to attend the international

intensive training for non-violent communication (NVC) being held in Ubud, Bali. NVC is a system of communication

Freddy Williams and Enid Gallagher in Bali with a fellow NVC delegate.


Crs Glenn, Dixon and Patrick with Minister Snowdon.

that teaches compassion, responsibility and peace in the way that people communicate with each other. It has been successfully applied in peacebuilding efforts in high conflict zones such as Rwanda, Chicago, the West Bank and Northern Ireland. Council’s Mediation and Justice program is planning to adapt the training for a Warlpiri audience and will impart the skills to the rest of the mediation team as well as Yuendumu School staff. The trip was financed through fundraising and was an intensive nine days, starting at 9am and finishing at 9.30pm! The training focused on developing empathy for self and others when communicating honestly – a very simple idea but very difficult in practice. Many different nationalities were represented at the training session.

Volunteers create fun and activity in our region B

iannually, CDRC partners with Linkz to bring volunteers into the communities of the Central Desert. These visits deliberately coincide with the two longer school holiday periods: winter and summer. The purpose: to provide funfilled activities for five to 18 year olds who don’t have school to keep them occupied. The Linkz volunteers are young, dynamic people from all over Australia with great energy and enthusiasm. Most are university students from a wide range of disciplines. Not only does the program provide a valuable adjunct to Council’s existing Sport and Recreation program, it also provides the volunteers with a taste of living and working in the desert. Council has been fortunate to use this as a vehicle to recruit ongoing employees in the past. Edin Fleming in the Alice Springs office, Liv Alston at Engawala and Callum McKeon at Atitjere are all ex-Linkz volunteers. The holiday period is a difficult time for community children as there is often very little to replace the gap left by the closure of schools. As such, a great deal of pressure is put on the Sport and Recreation program to have a wider variety of activities for longer periods each day. By making themselves available to the program, Linkz volunteers bring new skills and energy to

Linkz volunteers having fun with children in Laramba.

the communities as well as the necessary staff levels required to deliver the program over longer, more sustained and manageable periods. Overall, this program greatly improves community harmony and wellbeing during a period when youth may otherwise be inclined to relieve monotony, tedium and boredom with poor decisions and participation in anti-social behaviour. This is a very valuable and productive partnership that benefits Central Desert Regional Council’s Youth, Sport and Recreation program, the organisation as a whole, our communities and our youth. Thank you to our respective CDRC communities who provide great support and forego valuable revenue to provide accommodation free of charge to the Linkz volunteers.

Outback way to open up tourism


he sealing of the Plenty Highway increasingly makes the region accessible to business and tourism. In July, Councillors, Traditional Owners, pastoralists, tourism operators and officials from the Outback Highway Development Corporation met at Gemtree to talk about tourism opportunities that may result from the improved highway. Also at the meeting were a group of seven tourism journalists who were travelling the Outback Way from Longreach to Kalgoorlie, experiencing what the regions have to offer. The journalists were intrigued by the potential of the Dinosaur Trail from Richmond through to Winton and Boulia in Queensland and on to the Alcoota Dig, culminating in a visit to a newly proposed fossil museum in Todd Mall in Alice Springs. The Alcoota Mega Fauna Dig site is the missing link for visitor experience on the Dinosaur Trail from Richmond to Alice Springs. It is a premier attraction for the region with significant tourism and enterprise opportunity for both Engawala and Atitjere communities. There was agreement amongst those with an interest in developing the tourism industry in the Plenty and Eastern MacDonnell Ranges region to continue to lobby government to recommit to developing the Alcoota site. The Council is partnering with Tourism Central Australia to seek financial assistance from the Commonwealth

Tourism journalists from around the country meet with tourism stakeholders from the Alcoota area to discuss the proposed Outback Way.

Government’s Building Better Regions Fund to complete a Tourism Master Plan for the region and capitalise on the sealing of the Outback Way and potential development at Alcoota. CENTRAL DESERT REGIONAL COUNCIL NEWSLETTER • 7

Renewed focus on developing tourism and business opportunities for the Region T he Central Desert Regional Council recently adopted its 2017–18 Regional Council Plan. The plan presents an overview of Council’s vision for the coming 12 months, including the priorities for its nine communities, how it will implement its Strategic Plan, and its rates and charges for 2017–18. President Adrian Dixon said: ‘As the final Regional Plan for this Council prior to the August 2017 elections, I am pleased to see a renewed focus on developing tourism and business opportunities for our region, improving living conditions for our residents and, of course, ensuring the financial health of our organisation.’ At the community level, priorities include:

• a continuing focus on the Community Development Program to assist job seekers secure a job; • continuous improvement in service delivery for programs such as Community Safety Patrol, Aged Care, Youth Services and Children’s Services; • a focus on working with the Commonwealth and NT Governments to find solutions to alleviate power and water supply issues in our communities, and; • the continued support and sponsorship of community events during school and public holidays.

In terms of infrastructure, major projects include: • rectifying damage caused by the one-in-50-years rain event which occurred in January 2017; • ongoing upgrades to community roads to improve traffic flow and safety, and; • completion of Homelands Extra Allowance housing upgrades in all homelands houses. Council acknowledges the assistance and support of its various funding bodies and partner organisations in assisting to bring the Regional Plan to fruition. A copy of the Regional Council Plan can be found on Council’s website or a hard copy is available from our Alice Springs office. More information can be obtained by contacting the acting Chief Executive Officer on 08 8958 9500.

6 Mile Activity Centre 6

Mile, a small community approximately 10 km from Ti Tree, is home to approximately 100 people. Community Development Program participants at 6 Mile have recently been putting their efforts into beautifying their work area. Work commenced with a thorough clean up, inside and out followed by a new coat of paint. Jobseekers put their artistic talents to the test, painting both traditional and modern art, inside and out. The NT Government’s Indigenous Eye Health team have been a part of the overhaul, bringing in local artists and traditional owners to assist with brainstorming ideas. Following the painting, a hip hop workshop was held in the revitalised space. Of course, all of this was delivered with an important message of good hygiene to help alleviate Trachoma in the region.


6 Mile’s newly renovated activity centres.

Spaghetti Bolognaise Spaghetti Bolognaise is a favourite meal enjoyed by all children (and adults) across CDRC School Nutrition Programs. This recipe cooks enough for ten people.



1 kg beef or roo mince 2 onions 2 carrots 2 capsicums 1 x 420 g tin of corn kernels 1 x 810 g tin chopped tomatoes chopped garlic (1 tablespoon) tomato paste (1 tablespoon) Vegemite (1 tablespoon) optional mixed herbs (1 tablespoon) vegetable oil (1 tablespoon)

Chop all your vegetables and gather all your ingredients. Heat the oil in a pot, add in your mince and fry the mince until brown.

You can also add in vegetables you have in your fridge or freezer: peas, potato, beans, pumpkin. Frozen, fresh or tinned food will do, the more colour the healthier the meal.

Add in the pot to your mince, diced onions, carrots, capsicums, corn and any other vegetables and stir. Add in the crushed tomatoes, garlic and tomato paste. If you want you can add in the vegemite and herbs and stir. Add in some water, just enough to cover the top of the mince and simmer (low heat) for 1 hour. If using frozen vegetables add these in later as they don’t take as long to cook. Serve with pasta, rice, mashed potato or bread – and enjoy!

Everyone loves spaghetti bolognaise CENTRAL DESERT REGIONAL COUNCIL NEWSLETTER • 9

National Quality Standards transition underway T he Early Childhood team has worked tirelessly for years towards meeting the National Quality Standards. In 2014, as a part of the transition, we began creating a parent handbook, a staff handbook and a suite of early childhood policy and procedures for use by staff. Over the past month we have collated a lot of feedback from staff, families and even some of our Councillors. The handbooks are receiving the final touches and will be distributed throughout our services in July 2017. Thanks to everyone for the great feedback and hard work!

Children’s Services employees with some of their national quality standards documents.

Family Wellbeing continues to be a major focus through training and education for frontline workers I

n October 2016, the Council launched the Family Wellbeing Strategy. It is a now the cornerstone of the Council’s vision to work toward improving the lives of everyone in our region. With this in mind, CDRC will soon be rolling out a major education and training initiative across all nine communities commencing in August 2017. As outgoing CEO Cathryn Hutton stated at the launch, ‘Family Wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility’. To this end, CDRC has been very active since the strategy was adopted and has embarked on a host of initiatives that target our most valuable asset: our staff. Education and awareness has already occurred in areas such as suicide prevention, gambling harm minimisation, alcohol management, mental health, counselling, conflict management and, importantly, family and domestic violence. CDRC recognises that staff on the frontline need to be educated and well prepared, not only for the challenges that are encountered, but, importantly, to help improve the wellbeing of the communities we serve. From July, across all nine communities, staff in Aged and Disability Services, Children’s Services, CDP, Sport and Recreation and Community Safety will receive specifically targeted and adapted training through NAPCAN. The training will include a two-day workshop focusing on child abuse and neglect, family and domestic violence, elder abuse, mandatory reporting and self care. There will also be a one-day Wellbeing Champion workshop where people in communities will be able to train and support frontline staff on an ongoing basis therefore ensuring that the work will be sustained into the future.

Council continues to upskill staff in accordance with its Family Wellbeing Strategy.


Two levels of government working towards greener communities P ower and Water Corporation’s Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) has recently come to Nyirripi and Yuendumu. The program aims to reduce diesel consumption by 15%, or 70,000 litres, and to generate approximately 450,000 kilowatt hours of power per community per annum. The installation will reduce emissions and local pollution with fewer fuel trucks visiting the communities and create a more reliable, cleaner, greener future for the Territory. Until now, remote communities have relied solely on diesel generators which are expensive to run and subject to volatile fuel prices. The $55 million program is jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the NT Government. Central Desert Regional Council is the provider of essential

services to Power and Water Corporation across seven of our communities, including Nyirripi and Yuendumu. The maintenance of these installations

has involved upskilling our workforce and has created ongoing employment opportunities.

Nyirripi’s new solar power system saves approximately 70,000 litres of diesel per year.

Utopia service provision kicks off


CDRC’s Rodney Baird hard at work to make Utopia’s roads safe.

n 1 July, Central Desert commenced our contract assisting Utopia Homeland residents with their municipal, essential and housing R&M services in their 13 homelands. We will be working closely with and mentoring Urapuntja Aboriginal Corporation, who represent Traditional Owners and local residents, so they can build capacity to take over the contract in the future. This is a strong case study of Council working closely with local people to meet their aspirations. Sadly, on 4 July, the most senior man in the homelands, Kwementyay Bailey, passed away. His funeral is at his homeland Anterrengeny on 29 July, which is the most isolated homeland up a 35 km track. Council mobilised a host of resources to prepare for the large number of people who will attend. In the first week we graded the road (in conjunction with Barkly Regional Council) then sent in plumbers, electricians and carpenters to repair all houses. In many, hot water systems and electrical safety trip switches were not working, plumbing was not working and doors and windows were missing or not functioning, all of which have been rectified. We engaged local contractor Dennis Kunoth to clean up car bodies and general rubbish who, in turn, employed homeland residents to work with him. A big thanks to CDRC’s Rodney Baird, pictured right, who has come across from Ti Tree for four weeks to start things off, using his decades of expertise. Thanks also to Michael Gravener from Urapuntja who has been working closely with Council to optimise outcomes. CENTRAL DESERT REGIONAL COUNCIL NEWSLETTER • 11

A reminder to everyone that a dangerous fire season is expected this year.

This vital fire break successfully prevented fire from spreading into the Council compound.

Fire season not too far away A reminder to residents of the forthcoming fire season following the big rains in January 2017. The photograph [above] shows a vehicle that recently caught fire in one

of our communities – note the auto-gas tank in the boot of the car. Council attempts to keep the fuel level low by continuing to slash and mow; however, help from community

is important so that fires don’t harm people and property. Families and service providers are asked to talk with the children about the dangers of fire.

$200 million for remote communities


he Room to Breathe initiative, set to commence in July 2017, will invest $200 million into functional housing improvements in remote communities over the next ten years. $10 million of this funding was brought forward under the Room to Breathe early works program to build extra living spaces in some communities. Communities were chosen based on their level of overcrowding and where existing Indigenous businesses have the capacity to undertake works within the timeframe. This provided a fair geographic distribution across regions. Works will focus on households with large families and aged or other high dependency residents. They will be provided with additional living spaces that do not require water and sewerage infrastructure. Two of Central Desert Regional Council’s communities have been identified and works have commenced on six houses in Lajamanu and two in Engawala. Works should be complete by mid August.


Lot 295, Lajamanu community

Central Desert teams too strong in NT Softball 7s N ational Youth Week is an annual celebration of young people held in locations across Australia. Alice Springs marked the occasion with a Softball 7s competition in which two female youth teams from our region competed: the Engawala Crows and the Laramba Cowgirls. Both teams played exceptionally well across their 13 games (combined) and faced each other in the grand final with Laramba Cowgirls taking home

the championship trophy and Engawala Crows the runner up trophy. The young women had a fantastic and meaningful weekend: keeping active and healthy, improving their softball skills and confidence and creating positive memories and stronger relationships with each other. The level of skill and competitiveness shown by the two CDRC teams reaching the final is testament to the great work being done on the ground by our Youth

Engawala Crows and Laramba Cowgirls beaming after their grand final match.

and Communities teams. Thanks to Softball NT, Gap Youth Centre and the Northern Territory Government for making this championship possible. Thanks also to CDRC’s Training and Development Officer Edin Fleming for facilitating participation by these young ladies.

Engawala Crows looking great in their new green and white softball uniforms.

Southern Tanami Kurdiji: A cultural authority model for local decision making T he cultural authority exercised by Yuendumu’s Mediation and Justice Group, the Southern Tanami Kurdiji, and the great work being done by its members has been the focus of significant interest over the past few months. Representatives from both Council and Kurdiji have jointly presented the model at various forums including the APONT Innovating to Succeed Forum, the Chief Minister’s Local Decision Making Forum, The Indigenous Family Violence Conference and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Regional Network Meeting. The Mediation and Justice program has been instrumental in assisting to build and maintain peace in Yuendumu. The program has been independently evaluated by University of Canberra and the cost-benefit analysis found that it saves the tax payer $4 for every $1 invested. The program’s role has expanded over time from dealing with family dispute resolution, court assistance and prisoner visits, to today’s activities to prevent bullying at school as well as restorative justice victim-offender conferencing. The Council is delivering on its commitment to assist the Southern Tanami Kurdiji become a fully Aboriginal controlled

Rob Burdon presents to Southern Tanami Kurdiji.

organisation. We are working closely with APONT, Burdon Torzillo Consultants and Southern Tanami Kurdij to transition the program to be independent of Council by July 2018.


New skills for job seekers showcased at Alice Springs Show


CDP staff talk to the public about the work of CDRC’s job seekers.

ollowing on from the ALEO meeting held in Alice Springs recently, some very innovative ideas have been springing up in all of CDRC’s five CDP communities. As with all CDP activities, these new activities are designed to encourage job seeker engagement and to foster skills that could be turned into small business opportunities. Ti Tree have worked with ceramics in recent weeks, creating crosses, magnets, platters and plates. This is a great way to engage artistic talent and foster skills that will be useful in future activities, such as jewellery making. In Willowra, the focus has been on making ‘barrel trains’ which has proven to be a highly successful and fun activity. The trains are made from 100% recycled materials found in the community, which of course, has an added bonus – or two! In Yuendumu, job seekers have been working on billycan stands, tucker boxes and tables. The products made by our participants were bought together under one roof at the recent Alice Springs Show where the CDP team had a dedicated stall to showcase their unique work. The response to the stall from the general public was extemely positive which of has encouraged job participants to keep creating.

Activity Supervisor Jan Truman teaches job seeker Ezekiel Egan how to weld.

Ceramic crosses made in Ti Tree.

CDP job seeker Jessica Marshall paints a table made by CDP participants. The display of articles produced by CDP participants at the recent Alice Springs Show.

Billycan holder and tuckerbox produced by Yuendumu CDP participants. Barrel trains are made in Willowra.


The region’s largest jigsaw puzzle E

ric Tilmouth, Michael Wehr and Gabe Fallon from Engawala’s Works crew recently assembled the region’s largest jigsaw puzzle in the form of an aircraft warning circle, pictured right. Made from recycled tyres, the 9 m rubber circle is just one improvement intended to bring the landing strip up to regulatory standards. When the airstrip is open the rubber circle is turned to its black side. When closed, it is reversed to show the white cross. A second, much larger circle (15 m) has also been installed to house a new windsock. The aircraft taxiing and parking capacity has also been improved to accommodate six aircraft at one time. The next stage of works will include the installation of marker cones, gable markers and solar runway lights. It is hoped, but not yet confirmed, that this will be followed by the sealing of the strip which will make it the only 24-hour airstrip within approximately 300 km and increase its capacity in time to service the mining and tourism ventures planned for the region. Similar work is funded and planned for airstrips at Atitjere, Yuelamu and Nyirripi with work commencing in late 2017. Engawala’s airstrip is managed under contract by Central Desert Regional Council.

Improvements to Engawala’s airstrip is in time for increased demand.

CDP Activity Liaison Engagement Officers meeting T he Community Development team recently held a meeting with all its Activity Liaison Engagement Officers, or ALEOs. Staff from Ti Tree (6 Mile, Station and Wilora), Willowra, Yuendumu and Yuelamu attended the meeting. Discussions centred on current job seeker activities, as well as possible scope for future activities. The ALEOs drew on each other’s experience and ideas and brainstormed possibilities. There was also a visit to Desert Knowledge Precinct in Alice Springs where staff witnessed what Batchelor Institute is currently rolling out to its students. This has definitely generated strong interest in the textile space! In the afternoon, the group visited the Institute of Aboriginal Development where they, again, looked at training opportunities.

Overall, the meeting sparked some great conversations and helped to open channels for support and ideas both among the group and with other stakeholders. Thank you to outgoing

CEO Cathryn Hutton who addressed the group and helped them to connect their important work with the overall mission of the organisation.

CDRC’s ALEO team meets in town to discuss ways to work with job seekers more effectively.


Trachoma at 5% by 2020 T he World Health Organization has committed to reducing trachoma in four to nine year olds to below 5% by 2020. This aspiration is consistent with CDRC’s Family Wellbeing Strategy, and Council and NT Health are soon to sign an agreement to combine forces to address the issue. NT Health has numerous strategies for reducing trachoma across eight of our nine communities. Council will provide non-clinical support via advertising, an education program with Local Authorities and by providing brokering and translating assistance via Community Safety Patrol staff and job seekers from our Community Development program.

Milpa and his helpers get ready to launch their eye health program.

To embed some sustainability, all programs from the Community Services directorate will include trachoma prevention practices in their service delivery: to playgroups, school nutrition

programs, childcare services, youth services, and even aged care so that the oldies also know how to support children towards good eye health. The final stage of CDRC’s involvement will be to install mirrors in community houses so that kids can wash their faces

and check their eyes and noses. NT Health will upskill our community and town-based staff so that our role can be an effective one. We look forward to working with the NT Government and to being a part of this very important program.

What’s on around Council Local Authority meetings:

4 September at 10am in Council Chambers (open to all)


16 August

Announcement of new Council:


17 August

New Council induction

12 September


22 August

Council meetings:

14 September


23 August


20 September


21 September


22 September


25 September

Committee meetings:

24 August (Finance Committee) 26 August (Audit & Risk Committee)


Central Desert Regional Council PO Box 2257 ALICE SPRINGS NT 0871 Ph 1300 360 605


Central Desert Regional Council Newsletter 34 (June 2017)  

The quarterly newsletter of the Central Desert Regional Council, Northern Territory, Australia.

Central Desert Regional Council Newsletter 34 (June 2017)  

The quarterly newsletter of the Central Desert Regional Council, Northern Territory, Australia.