Tag Archives: Media Release

Media Release: New Council gets right down to business in appointing Mayor

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NEW LEADERSHIP: Roper Gulf Regional Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto and Manager Governance and Corporate Planning Amanda Haigh help newly-elected Mayor Judy MacFarlane with her robes after she was appointed to the role on September 14.

NEW LEADERSHIP: Roper Gulf Regional Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto and Manager Governance and Corporate Planning Amanda Haigh help newly-elected Mayor Judy MacFarlane with her robes after she was appointed to the role on September 14.

Never Never Ward Councillor Judy MacFarlane has become Roper Gulf Regional Council’s second Mayor after being voted into the role by fellow Elected Members on September 14.

The new Council sat for the first time on Thursday following the August 26 Northern Territory Local Government election, with its inaugural order of business to appoint a Mayor and Deputy Mayor to lead the cohort of 13 Councillors for the next four years.

After a secret ballot, the Council resolved to make Mayor MacFarlane its Principal Member and Nyirranggulung Councillor Helen Lee its Deputy Mayor.

The appointments were made in accordance with section 45 (1) of the Local Government Act.

After a swearing in ceremony, the third Roper Gulf Regional Council sits for a formal photo with Executive staff during the first Ordinary Meeting of Council in Katherine.

After a swearing in ceremony, the third Roper Gulf Regional Council sits for a formal photo with Executive staff during the first Ordinary Meeting of Council in Katherine.

Mayor MacFarlane said her focus would be on ensuring each community under the Council’s jurisdiction received a “fair share” of funding and infrastructure development.

“It is an absolute honour to be elected Mayor of Roper Gulf Regional Council, and I thank my fellow Elected Members for putting their trust in me to lead this new team,” she said.

“One of my priorities is to make sure each community gets a fair share of the money being invested in the region by Council and Government, which will provide the infrastructure needed for them to grow and prosper.”

Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto welcomed the new Council and congratulated Elected Members on being successful in their bids to represent the 7100 residents of the 186,000 square kilometre Local Government Area.

“I congratulate all 13 Councillors on their election success, and believe they will provide experience and insight that will assist Council in achieving its strategic goals,” he said.

“Our new Council is a strong mix of old and new faces who have committed to being the voice of their communities and Wards until 2021.

“I’m looking forward to a continuation of the strong collaboration between Councillors and the senior leadership team that will allow the Council to deliver a sustainable, viable and vibrant Roper Gulf region for residents and ratepayers.”

As part of the Council’s commitment to robust governance and accountability, Elected Members took part in a comprehensive induction day prior to the Ordinary Meeting of Council which outlined the function of Local Government, their legislative obligations and what role they will play in working with staff to provide services and programs to one of the most diverse parts of the NT.

View the full Media Release here.

Media Release: Ngukurr students saddle up to celebrate equine infrastructure unveiling

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EQUINE EXCELLENCE: Students, CDP participants and staff celebrate the official opening of the Ngukurr School equestrian yards on September 7 after a collaboration between the school and Roper Gulf Regional Council delivered the much-needed infrastructure.

EQUINE EXCELLENCE: Students, Community Development Program participants and staff celebrate the official opening of the Ngukurr School equestrian yards on September 7 after a collaboration between the school and Roper Gulf Regional Council delivered the much-needed infrastructure.

After stepping out of the saddle at the completion of their education, a group of men in Ngukurr have gone back to school to ensure future generations of students in the remote community have access to the infrastructure needed to advance their horsemanship skills.

Through its Community Development Program (CDP), Roper Gulf Regional Council has partnered with the Ngukurr School to construct a set of steel yards that will used by the 16 Year 9 to Year 12 students who learn about riding and equine management when they are not in the classroom.

The school supplied the materials for the ambitious build, with CDP participants providing the labour as they developed a new range of skills in metalwork, construction and project management under the watchful eye of the Council’s CDP Builder Trainer.

Witnessing the yards take shape had special meaning for several of the participants involved in the project who have a first-hand understanding of how important the horsemanship program is for fostering confidence and self-esteem in students.

Roper Gulf Regional Council CDP participant Donald Hall tells CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub what helping to build the yards means to him as a former student of the Ngukurr School horsemanship program.

Roper Gulf Regional Council CDP participant Donald Hall tells CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub what helping to build the yards means to him as a former student of the Ngukurr School horsemanship program.

Participant Donald Hall explained that as a former student in the program, he had jumped at the chance to give something back to the school.

“It makes me feel proud to have been in the horse program when I was at school, and now doing something to help the horse program,” he said.

CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub said she was thrilled to see how committed participants had been to growing their skillsets as part of a project.

“Council has had anywhere from 12 to 20 CDP participants at a time working on this project, and they have put countless hours into finishing it and making sure it is something Ngukurr can be extremely proud of,” she said.

After putting the finishing touches on the fabrication project, CDP participants watch Ngukurr School students try out their new horse yards.

After putting the finishing touches on the fabrication project, CDP participants watch Ngukurr School students try out their new horse yards.

“This was about showing the kids what the participants can do, which has been community involvement and teamwork, welding, machine operation, and preparing and managing the job from initial conception.”

The Council runs CDP projects 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.

Media Release: Remote Aged Care staff achieve best practice through life story learning

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LIFE LESSONS: Roper Gulf Regional Council Aged Care staff Helen Sambo, Kaylene Wurramarrba and Ernie Andrews talk to Ngukurr client Helen Harrison about her life in a service delivery move that has garnered national attention in the Aged Care sector.

LIFE LESSONS: Roper Gulf Regional Council Aged Care staff Helen Sambo, Kaylene Wurramarrba and Ernie Andrews talk to Ngukurr client Helen Harrison about her life in a service delivery move that has garnered national attention in the Aged Care sector.

In the strictly-regulated environment of Aged Care, taking the time to discover the lives clients led before requiring assistance often takes a back seat to ensuring the support provided complies with legislative requirements.

But putting a focus on learning about and recording the stories of clients in its remote Aged Care facilities is providing Roper Gulf Regional Council with best-practice results that are being recognised at a national level.

The Council delivers Aged Care services in seven remote Indigenous communities scattered across its 186,000 square kilometre Local Government Area, meaning the tyranny of distance is often assumed to be the biggest challenge for both staff and clients.

While isolation can play a part in the success or failure of service delivery, Community Services Regional Manager Annalisa Bowden explained that the simple act of getting to know clients was allowing the Council to overcome the hurdle of remoteness.

“The biggest challenge we face is not distance or isolation, it’s about failing to recognise the lives our clients lived in their younger years,” she said.

“Aged Care is not just providing a service, it’s about listening to their story – it goes beyond quality care.”

As part of the unique approach, staff are documenting every client’s story to provide key information about what they did in their working life, their family, and the cultural role they played and continue to play in their community.

Ngukurr Acting Aged Care Coordinator Kaylene Wurramarrba and Community Development Program participant Dianne Thompson prepare to deliver meals to clients as part of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s innovative approach to remote Aged Care.

Ngukurr Acting Aged Care Coordinator Kaylene Wurramarrba and Community Development Program participant Dianne Thompson prepare to deliver meals to clients as part of the Council’s innovative approach to remote Aged Care.

After the Council passed a triennial Department of Health quality review following changes to service delivery requirements in the sector, Mrs Bowden and her team were invited to talk about their success at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s Better Practice 2017 conference in Darwin in May.

On the back of this, Mrs Bowden then travelled to Canberra in June as part of a group that met with Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt to discuss the changes and how the Council had tailored its service delivery model.

Mrs Bowden said the model facilitated a closer connection with clients, in addition to creating training and employment opportunities for local Indigenous staff.

“Our dedicated staff are building relationships, inspiring social change, empowering people and ultimately challenging the status quo when it comes to Aged Care,” she said.

“The client’s story is the most important thing you can provide your staff, and I think the positive outcomes Council has recorded recently prove this.”

Ngukurr-based Acting Aged Care Coordinator Kaylene Wurramarrba, who oversees the delivery of the program in the remote community, agreed with Mrs Bowden’s assessment.

“We have to get to know these old people to care for them well,” she said.

“To me and to staff, it is good to get these histories so they can still be somebody.

“It’s about respect and letting them know we won’t forget about them just because they are old now.”

View the full Media Release here.

 

 

 

Media Release: Visiting vets help Council share remote animal health message

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NEW APPROACH: Roper Gulf Regional Council veterinarian Dr Sam Phelan gets a helping hand to treat a puppy.

NEW APPROACH: Roper Gulf Regional Council veterinarian Dr Sam Phelan gets a helping hand to treat a puppy in the remote community of Bulman as part of the organisation’s new-look Animal Health Program.

It is a scene more commonly associated with a school fundraiser or sporting carnival, but a production line buttering bread is one element of an innovative strategy that is improving animal health outcomes in remote communities across the Roper Gulf region.

The novel approach is part of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s new Animal Health Program, which was rolled out in late 2016 under the guidance of in-house veterinarian Dr Sam Phelan.

Previously, the Council engaged a private veterinary service to carry out biannual community visits within its 186,000 square kilometre Local Government Area, but the switch to the new format is already paying dividends on several fronts, including owner education and local employment.

As part of the program, Dr Phelan is training Animal Management Assistants (AMA) who can assist her during remote visits, and also provide local support and treatments when communities are cut off during the wet season.

“Because I don’t have a vet nurse working with me like you would in a traditional vet practice, this program opens up the door for Indigenous employment in communities,” she explained.

Animal Management Assistant Kaylene Runyu injects buttered bread with a parasite treatment.

Animal Management Assistant Kaylene Runyu injects buttered bread with a parasite treatment.

“The community feedback has been really good, because having an AMA available to each community during the wet means there will be someone there to treat animals for tick burden when that water comes up, which will create better outcomes for animals and owners.”

The success of the program was on show in Barunga, Beswick and Bulman earlier this month when Dr Phelan was joined on the road for five days by AMA Kaylene Runyu, and two vet volunteers, who travelled to the Northern Territory through the Council’s partnership with not-for-profit group Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC).

Using buttered bread soaked with a parasite medication is being utilised as the preferred treatment method by Dr Phelan, who said that it let the team cover the dog population a lot faster than if an invasive treatment technique was used.

She added that having the vet volunteers available to lend their expertise meant more of a focus could be put on educating owners about their obligations to their pets.

“We’re finding a lot of the desexing has already been done by the vets who were previously contracted to do the program, which frees up time for education, and that’s the next phase,” Dr Phelan said.

“Part of that education is getting a photo, medical record and history of each dog in a community and putting it into the Council’s database, which is an iPad-compatible app donated by AMRRIC.

AMRRIC vet volunteer Dr Linda Bradbury updates animal data in Roper Gulf Regional Council’s mobile database during a house-to-house visit with Dr Sam Phelan.

AMRRIC vet volunteer Dr Linda Bradbury updates animal data in Roper Gulf Regional Council’s mobile database during a house-to-house visit with Dr Sam Phelan.

“It’s helping to build familiarity between me, the animals and their owners, and that helps a lot with improving dog health and identifying problem dogs.

“Council is committed to improving the health of animals in remote communities, and the comments we are getting from owners during our visits so far suggest the new Animal Health Program is on the right path to achieving that.”

View the full Media Release here.

Media Release: CDP construction creativity to shine at 2017 Katherine Show

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GOING ON SHOW: Barunga residents Travis Tiati, Nathan Runyu and Ronald Blitner put the finishing touches on the bar that will be on display at the 2017 Katherine Show at part of a Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Development Program project.

GOING ON SHOW: Barunga residents Travis Tiati, Nathan Runyu and Ronald Blitner put the finishing touches on the bar that will be on display at the 2017 Katherine Show as part of a Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Development Program project.

An estimated 15,000 people will witness the skill and creativity of Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Community Development Program (CDP) participants when gates open at the 2017 Katherine Show this week.

As anticipation builds ahead of Katherine’s biggest annual event beginning on July 21, CDP participants from Barunga, Beswick, Mataranka and the remote community of Numbulwar have been applying the finishing touches to the construction and art pieces they hope will secure top honours in their respective show categories.

The entries include an eclectic mix of woodwork and art, and are expected to turn the heads of show patrons when they are unveiled.

Numbulwar participants have created stunning lamps, coffee tables, television cabinets and woomeras as part of a joinery project, and Builder Trainer Miguel Zahoran said he was incredibly pleased with how the men had embraced utilising recycled materials in their work.

“It’s been great working with the men and seeing them so active and keen with this project,” he said.

“They are very talented with the tools and it’s impressive to see how their skills and confidence have grown.

“I love to see how proud they are about their projects and the workshop we built together.”

The sentiment was echoed by participant Leroy Nunggarrgalu, who explained that the project had allowed the men to develop a new skillset, while using the show to offer patrons a glimpse at life in Numbulwar.

“There is a good environment in the workshop, where we can learn, have fun and enjoy our work,” he said.

CATTLE CREATIVITY: Mataranka Community Development Program participants are all smiles as they show off the cattle skulls they have adorned with artwork to enter in the 2017 Katherine Show.

Mataranka CDP participants are all smiles as they show off the cattle skulls they have adorned with artwork.

While female participants in Mataranka have decorated cattle skulls with intricate artwork for the show, Beswick and Barunga participants have built clocks, and a one-of-a-kind bar using old pallets.

The bar will be hard to miss at the show, as it features transparent inserts that can be backlit.

Barunga participant Travis Tiati said he couldn’t wait to see the reaction of patrons when they saw the bar.

“We wanted to do something different,” he said.

“It will be good to let people at the show see what we are doing in Barunga.”

NUMBULWAR PRIDE: Stunning joinery created by Community Development Participants in the remote Roper Gulf community of Numbulwar will be on show – much to the delight of its proud creators – when gates open at Katherine’s biggest annual event on July 21.

Stunning joinery created by CDP participants in the remote Roper Gulf community of Numbulwar will be on show – much to the delight of its proud creators – when gates open at Katherine’s biggest annual event on July 21.

The Council’s CDP Regional Manager, Janelle Iszlaub, urged patrons to take the time to look at the participants’ creations while soaking up the atmosphere of the show.

“The Community Development Program is about finding employment for participants, but it’s also about helping them develop the skills and self-confidence they will need in the workforce, as well as undertaking projects that build the capacity and pride of remote communities,” she said.

“Show organisers have said there will be more than 15,000 people attending this year’s Katherine Show, so I can’t think of a better way to build that pride than by letting everyone who comes through the gate see what amazingly talented participants Council has.”

The Council runs CDP projects 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.