Finance Committee Meeting agenda now available

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The agenda for the September 28 Finance Committee Meeting in Katherine is now available.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and participate in question time.

Click here to download a copy of the agenda.

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Media Release: Unique Council project transforms more than unwanted junk

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DRUMMING UP PRIDE: Community Development Program participant Javin Harrison braves the build-up heat in Barunga to strip one of 80 donated 44-gallon drum back to bare metal for a furniture-building project on September 14.

An innovative project is creating more than one-of-a-kind furniture for the participants of a Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Development Program in the Indigenous community of Barunga.

The project involves transforming donated and recycled materials into head-turning furniture that can be utilised by participants and their families in the community, which is about 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine.

The community turned out in force to celebrate the project on September 14 as participants unveiled some of the furniture, created predominantly with 44-gallon drums donated by Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation (JAAC).

The drums stored aviation fuel in their previous incarnation but have been turned into a range of seats and tables that belie the humble beginnings of their materials.

Male participants are responsible for the construction of the furniture, while female participants spearhead a sewing effort to ensure the creations are comfortable as well as practical.

While the project is providing participants with new skills and a cost-effective furnishing solution for their houses, the biggest benefit is one that cannot be sat on.

Between grinding drums back to bare metal to allow the stunning transformation to begin, Javin Harrison explained that the project had provided him with a new-found sense of community and self-worth.

“It’s changed my life,” the 19-year-old said as he inspected his work.

“I love the activity because it’s different to the other ones.

“It’s a lot better than staying at home and makes you somebody.

“It makes you feel happy.”

Wayne Runyu, Francis Camphoo and Tony Walla proudly show off the 44-gallon drum seat Barunga CDP participants presented to Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Berto.

Wayne Runyu, Francis Camphoo and Tony Walla proudly show off the 44-gallon drum seat Barunga CDP participants presented to Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Berto.

There was dual cause for celebration at the unveiling as the organisations finalised a long-awaited partnership agreement that will enable CDP participants to work on country under the supervision of JAAC employees.

To mark the occasion, CDP participants presented JAAC Chief Executive Officer John Berto with a seat featuring a plaque and his organisation’s logo.

“I’m blown away by what they’ve built,” Mr Berto said as he sat in the seat for the first time.

Mr Berto added that he hoped more CDP projects in remote communities across the Northern Territory followed the Council’s innovative lead.

“I’ve been around here and there, to most communities in the Northern Territory, and have never seen anything like this,” he said.

“You’ve got to tell the rest of world this; they’ll want to know.”

Barunga and Manyallaluk CDP participants pose for a photo with Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation boss John Berto as he gets comfortable on his one-of-a-kind present.

Barunga and Manyallaluk CDP participants pose for a photo with Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation boss John Berto as he gets comfortable on his one-of-a-kind present.

Sommer Meadows is one of the Council’s CDP Senior Employment Supervisors and the impassioned brainchild behind the out-of-the-box projects in Barunga and neighbouring Manyallaluk, and described the creation of the furniture as “an amazing journey”.

“This is what community is all about,” she said.

“It’s going to help these men build furniture for their families and for their houses.

“It’s been a real group effort and I’m really proud of them.”

The Council runs CDP projects in 13 communities in its Local Government Area on behalf of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Federal Government initiative assists jobseekers in remote communities to find employment as they contribute to their communities and gain new skills in the process.

View the full Media Release here.

August edition of the newsletter is now available

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roper-gulf-regional-council-newsletter-page-001In the August edition of the Roper Gulf Regional Council newsletter:

– Council careers shine at expo

– New Chief Minister receives rock star welcome in Numbulwar

– Bulman celebrates staff boost

– Council’s grand plan hot off the press

– Sign of respect for Ngukurr

– Staff Excel at course

Read the August newsletter here.

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Media Release: Community Grant turns page on push to preserve Indigenous language

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ENGAGING ENTERPRISE: Margaret Duncan and Sarah Barrow outline what went into producing the Alawa Colouring Book, and how it will provide an engaging way for children in the Minyerri region to learn more about the language.

ENGAGING ENTERPRISE: Margaret Duncan and Sarah Barrow outline what went into producing the Alawa Colouring Book at its launch on September 7, and how it will provide an engaging way for children in the Minyerri region to learn more about the language.

A $1500 Community Grant has helped develop a unique teaching resource that will create cultural awareness and help younger generations preserve the Alawa language.

The end result of the innovative project – which was a collaboration between the Minyerri Arts and Cultural Centre and Enterprise Learning Projects, and partially funded by Roper Gulf Regional Council – is the Alawa Colouring Book, and children from across the region could not wait to get their hands on a copy following its launch at the Katherine Public Library on September 7.

On its pages, the outlines of a range of animals are depicted beside their Alawa name, allowing children to engage and learn more about the language as they pick up their coloured pencils.

Minyerri Arts and Cultural Centre’s Phelecia Daylight said she hoped the novel approach to language would make it more interesting for children.

“I hope kids learn more about language,” she said.

“Maybe it makes language easier.”

Enterprise Learning Project’s Sarah Barrow helped spearhead the creation of the book and thanked the Council for its involvement.

“Language preservation is a priority for the Minyerri community; Elders know that language strengthens connection to culture,” she explained at the launch.

“It’s a terrible tragedy that over 150 traditional Aboriginal languages have been lost, so it was a privilege to work alongside the community to produce the colouring book.

“This grant was wonderful – it was very flexible, which was just what was needed for this project.”

Enterprise Learning Projects and Minyerri Arts and Cultural Centre representatives Lillian Tait, Laura Egan, Phelecia Daylight, Margaret Duncan and Sarah Barrow show off the Alawa Colouring Book, which was produced with the assistance of a $1500 Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Grant.

Enterprise Learning Projects and Minyerri Arts and Cultural Centre representatives Lillian Tait, Laura Egan, Phelecia Daylight, Margaret Duncan and Sarah Barrow show off the Alawa Colouring Book, which was produced with the assistance of a $1500 Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Grant.

The Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Berto, congratulated stakeholders on the launch of the book and said it was a tremendous example of what could be achieved with funding through the Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Grants Program.

“This is what it’s all about,” he explained.

“The Community Grants Program is provided by Council to better communities in the Roper Gulf region, and what better way to do that than by creating something that will help preserve the Alawa language.”

The book is available at the Finch Cafe, Katherine Visitor Information Centre and via the Enterprise Learning Project website, with a digital copy also accessible for download at the Katherine Public Library.

Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Community Grants Program provides financial assistance of up to $3000 for projects that will benefit community events and activities, economic development, or the physical or natural environment.

Round two is open from October 17 until November 25 and applications can be made by calling 08 8972 9038 or emailing grants.ropergulf@ropergulf.nt.gov.au.

View the full Media Release here.