Tag Archives: Media Release

Media Release: School holiday fun as Council brings rodeo thrills and spills to Borroloola

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ROUGH RIDE: Ten-year-old Ricquelle Dixon experiences first hand the thrills and spills of the rodeo lifestyle at the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop – presented through a partnership between Roper Gulf Regional Council and Territory Rodeo Services – during the school holidays last week.

ROUGH RIDE: Ten-year-old Ricquelle Dixon experiences first hand the thrills and spills of the rodeo lifestyle at the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop – presented through a partnership between Roper Gulf Regional Council and Territory Rodeo Services – during the school holidays last week.

Kids, cattle and dust flew as lifelong loves of rodeo were solidified during a school holiday workshop Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Youth Reconnect team held in Borroloola last week.

As part of its youth engagement strategy in the isolated town, 660 kilometres south-east of Katherine, the Council partnered with Territory Rodeo Services (TRS) to deliver the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop, which comprised three two-day sessions for participants up to the age of 24.

With more than 60 youth learning about cattle handling and riding techniques, the workshop became a whole-of-community event as family members took up positions around the arena to throw their support behind participants.

The workshop included a range of lessons and games designed to entertain participants as they learnt the skills needed to compete at rodeos and ultimately seek employment in the Northern Territory cattle industry.

Devendro Johnson, 7, bursts out of the chute with a little bit of assistance.

Devendro Johnson, 7, bursts out of the chute with a little bit of assistance.

The variety of fun activities was appreciated by some of the younger participants, many of whom have family members who are well-known names on the NT rodeo circuit.

“It was a lot of fun,” 12-year-old Sonny Dixon said.

“We were riding calves and horses, and learning how to balance when riding.”

Borroloola Youth Services Coordinator Ilan Bermeister explained that the inclusive nature of the workshop allowed participants to learn in an environment they felt completely comfortable in.

“The kids have come out in great numbers, even supporting the other age groups when they were participating,” he said.

“The atmosphere has been vibrant, colourful and enthusiastic, and the youth were respectful and showed great aptitude and attitude.

“I am amazed at how brave these kids are to participate in the sport of rodeo, and the young boys and girls of Borroloola have again proved that the future of this town is a bright one.”

TRS owner Tara Craigie praised participants and said the Borroloola region had a proud tradition of producing top-level stockmen and rodeo riders.

“We are honoured for the opportunity to work with the younger generation to inspire them to follow in the footsteps of the men and women before them,” she said.

Borroloola youth Lawrence Johnston, 8, Quartaya Miller, 7, and Rickeisha Rory, 7, discuss the finer points of horsemanship in the middle of the town’s rodeo arena during the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop.

Borroloola youth Lawrence Johnston, 8, Quartaya Miller, 7, and Rickeisha Rory, 7, discuss the finer points of horsemanship in the middle of the town’s rodeo arena during the Great Borroloola Cattle Workshop.

Director of Council and Community Services Sharon Hillen said the workshop was further evidence of what could be achieved in remote towns like Borroloola when stakeholders collaborated to deliver programs and services that boosted the liveability of the Roper Gulf region.

“Council is committed to supporting remote training and employment opportunities, and the sustainability of towns in its Local Government Area as part of its strategic objectives,” she explained.

“For these goals to be achieved, all stakeholders need to be working together harmoniously towards a common vision that benefits the people who call our communities home.

“This event is an example of that collaboration, and Council is proud to have led a diverse group of stakeholders from Borroloola and further afield to make it an overwhelming success that was embraced by the youth who participated in it.”

The event was sponsored by the Northern Territory Government as part of its Alcohol Action Initiatives.

View the full Media Release here.

Media Release: Council contract sets up Indigenous-owned NT business for staff expansion

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PARTNERING GROWTH: Practical Safety Australia Indigenous trainees Cambell May and Peter Devery, who have been employed on the back of a three-year supply contract with Roper Gulf Regional Council, check out some personal protective equipment with business owner Lance Martin and the Council’s Procurement Coordinator, Jerry Amato, during a site tour on September 27.

PARTNERING GROWTH: Practical Safety Australia Indigenous trainees Cambell May and Peter Devery, who have been employed on the back of a three-year supply contract with Roper Gulf Regional Council, check out some personal protective equipment with business owner Lance Martin and the Council’s Procurement Coordinator, Jerry Amato, during a site tour on September 27.

A commitment by Roper Gulf Regional Council to Northern Territory businesses has allowed one Indigenous-owned enterprise to boost its employment by 40 per cent on the back of a three-year supply contract awarded this month.

Practical Safety Australia (PSA) has been engaged to supply the Council with personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020 in a deal with an estimated value of $500,000.

Securing the tender has also provided the Darwin-based business with an opportunity to employ two Indigenous trainees in a move director Lance Martin said would create a revenue stream to deliver a structured career pathway for the pair.

“On the strength of this contract, we have already placed two Indigenous trainees into the company as stores and warehouse people, with a view to upskilling them with first the basics, such as fork lift operations, warehouse safety and stock control, to be followed up with computer training, warehouse management and wherever that leads to,” he explained.

“We are excited that we have the opportunity to make a real difference to young people’s lives, and to have them as part of our continual growth and improvement program.”

Mr Martin praised the Council for its focus on helping to develop Indigenous-owned NT businesses and said he hoped other organisations followed its example.

“It is critical for Northern Territory companies to receive the support of both local companies and those companies that come to the various regions to fill gaps in skill shortages for the larger contracts,” he said.

“The simple reason for this is that it enables the growth of the Indigenous workforce and begins the upward cycle of creating higher-skilled Indigenous workers who can then pass on their knowledge to their peers, thus developing a pool of skilled individuals.”

Practical Safety Australia’s Cindy Salinas and Lance Martin explain the embroidery process to Roper Gulf Regional Council Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato after the Indigenous-owned business won a tender to supply all of the Council’s personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020.

Practical Safety Australia’s Cindy Salinas and Lance Martin explain the embroidery process to Roper Gulf Regional Council Procurement Coordinator Jerry Amato after the Indigenous-owned business won a tender to supply all of the Council’s personal protective and first aid equipment, and safety signage until 2020.

Staff from the Council’s Procurement and Work, Health and Safety units travelled to Darwin on September 27 to meet the PSA team and witness first-hand how the commercial partnership would benefit both parties.

Council Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto said an emphasis on utilising local NT businesses aligned with the organisation’s strategic goal of supporting training, employment and economic development.

“It may not be viewed as a traditional role of Local Government, but Council is committed to the big picture of delivering sustainable, vibrant communities across the Roper Gulf region and NT as a whole,” he said.

“Part of that centres on providing Indigenous employment opportunities and fostering economic development strategies for businesses based in the Territory.

“With an annual operating budget of almost $40 million, Council has the responsibility and financial capacity to be a leader in this area, and it is great to see our focus having a real impact on the growth of operations like Practical Safety Australia.”

View the full Media Release here.

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.