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Waanyi / UQ Digital Archive Project

Waanyi / Regen Joint Venture Awarded Landmark Contract by New Century

Waanyi ReGen Joint Venture (WRJV), a 50:50 joint venture between Waanyi Enterprises, representing the Waanyi People, and ReGen, a Downer Group business, have been awarded a landmark contract by Century Mining Limited (CML) to provide training services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities local to the Century Mine.

The WRJV, which includes three members from each joint venture party, represents a significant step forward for the representation of the Waanyi People, who are the traditional owners of the Century Mine site.

Since July 2016 WRJV have been carrying out care and maintenance activities at Century Mine, which is on Waanyi Land five hours north of Mount Isa, in the Lower Gulf. The current workforce is comprised of 40% Waanyi personnel.

The Waanyi PBC, led by Chairman Alec Doomadgee, has been campaigning through the WRJV to increase the representation of Waanyi People within the Century Mine workforce, which this contract will deliver.

New Century’s decision to award the contract has broader implications for Waanyi People in the

Lower Gulf, by providing new economic and social opportunities where previously few were available.

It is the broader implications of this contract that cannot be understated, according to Waanyi PBC Chairman Alec Doomadgee.

“This is the first time in the Lower Gulf Region’s history that a contract of this nature has been awarded to the Traditional Owners of the land on which the mining activity has occurred, and signals the dawn of a new era in the Gulf.”

“This is what Aboriginal self determination and independence looks like, as we now have genuine pathways for our people to become self sufficient and to determine their own future. We are training tomorrow’s leaders of the Gulf on our own land, and I look forward to watching them grow to become masters of their own future.”

“This is a great day for the Waanyi people of the Lower Gulf, and the Waanyi Regen Joint Venture.”

Job Opportunity: Boodjamulla National Park Rangers

The Boodjamulla Rangers are hiring, and have reached out to the PBC to help spread the word. If you are interested in applying, or need more information contact the PBC.

Position: Ranger, Full-time and permanent
Location: Boodjamilla National Park

About this role

Rangers ensure that the Queensland’s national parks, state forests and reserves are protected, accessible and valued by all Queenslanders. Rangers work in partnership with local communities and other stakeholders to contribute to the land management, recreational and conservation outcomes across the protected areas—which are managed by NPSR under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, Recreation Areas Management Act 2006, Marine Parks Act 2004, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, Forestry Act 1959 and other relevant legislation.

Rangers may work across five focus areas dependent on operational need, including Pest Management, Fire Management, Estate Management, Visitor Management and Assets and Safety. As such, Rangers may turn their hands to a wide range of jobs that can be safely undertaken by non-tradespersons.

This role focusses on all operational areas however visitor and asset management are a significant aspect of the work. As Boodjamulla is a remote north western park it is important that you are capable of living and working closely with others and are prepared, at times, to be isolated. The park has its own water, sewerage and power systems and provision of essential services is a regular activity undertaken by Rangers living onsite

Duties of the role

To achieve the outcomes required by this role, you must be able to:

  1. Carry out park management duties including plant operation and maintenance, natural and cultural resource management, project management, fire management, weed and pest control and the development and maintenance of park infrastructure.
  2. Assist with the development and implementation of annual work programs for recreational and infrastructure development including the allocation of resources within a limited budget.
  3. Perform compliance and enforcement tasks on suspected breaches of relevant acts and permit compliance. Assist senior staff and staff from other Agencies with investigations as required.
  4. Perform general public contact duties including answering enquiries and providing advice, park patrols and undertake liaison with various stakeholders as required.
  5. Follow and assist in emergency response procedures including natural disaster contingency plans, wildfire response procedures, search and rescue procedures and medical emergency procedures.
  6. Participate in a team and assist with the supervision of subordinate staff, students and volunteers and implement and monitor workplace health and safety, staff performance management measures and equal employment opportunity principles and practices.
  7. Undertake administrative duties such as compiling and maintaining maintenance records and procurement of goods and services.

Click here to see the full job description

No Agreement with new Century and Waanyi People

New Century have released details on the ‘Significant Potential’ of the resources surrounding the South Block (Magazine Hill) to extend the Century Mine life and increase production. However, the required  agreements to mine the block with the Waanyi PBC have not yet been reached.

Waanyi PBC Chairman Alec Doomadgee says the PBC through their lawyers are in negotiations with New Century, to develop a Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the expansion.

“We have been negotiating on behalf of the Waanyi people for months now, to make sure that we get the best deal possible for all the Waanyi mob. This is a process which is being led by our lawyers, and I am confident that we will come to an agreement soon. This agreement will go a long way to ensuring that the mine’s long term benefits flow on to the future generations of Waanyi people through a fair and sustainable Cultural Heritage Management Plan.”

 

The PBC will keep it’s members informed on the negotiations, and will announce any progressions through the website.

Waanyi PBC Year In Review

 

Notice of meeting cancellation: Magazine Hill

Waanyi members remove PBC ‘Area For Membership clause’

Members of the Waanyi PBC unanimously carried a resolution to change the PBC’s membership requirements, allowing Waanyi people living outside the Gulf to become members. 

Prior to the decision to remove clause 12.2 from the PBC’s rulebook, all members of the PBC were required to live in the communities of Biddungu, Mornington Island, Burketown, Camooweal, Mt Isa or Normanton.

That requirement has now been completely removed, allowing Waanyi people to become members no matter where they live.

The Waanyi PBC memebers present discussed the resolution prior to the vote, and heard that many of those present were unable to be members due to the clause. These stories, and the view that all Waanyi people should be able to become members of the PBC despite their place of residence saw the resolution passed unanimously.

Waanyi PBC Chairman Alec Doomadgee said this was a great moment for all Waanyi people, and signalled a major shift in how the PBC operates into the future.

“In the past, the PBC has operated in a way that has shut certain people out. Today that ends. We now have a PBC that is truly open and welcoming to all Waanyi people, and this is something we should all be proud of. This marks the start of a new era for our Mob, an era where we come together as one Mob with one voice – and no Waanyi person is left out. “

“I am proud to have played a small part in this decision, but this isn’t about any one person or family. This is about making sure all the Waanyi mob are together and strong, now and in the future.”

Magazine Hill Consultation Meetings 

The Waanyi PBC will hold community meetings to decide the future work to be carried out at Magazine Hill, once an agreement has been reached with New Century for funding. 

Currently no money has been allocated by New Century for this consultation, and as a result the Waanyi PBC has put a hold on future works. No work will start without an agreement which requires consultation. This is how the PBC is making sure our economic and cultural future is protected and improved.

Letters of invitation to meetings on the future work to be done at Magazine Hill will be sent out, once funds have been allocated to the PBC. The PBC board also welcomes everyone to attend these meetings, and will provide more information on when and where they will be held, once consultation  negotiations have been completed.

“We will consult the right people, the Waanyi people, about the future of Magazine Hill. This isn’t a decision that only a few people get to make, that’s why we will hold meetings to get the best decision for all our people. It’s really important that everyone attends these meetings, so that we can speak with one united voice to those that might try and tear us apart. I hope that all our Mob can come together and start to build a future that we can all be a part of”

Another First For the Region: The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival 

The Waanyi PBC was a proud major sponsor of the inaugural Gulf Country Frontier Days Rodeo, which was held in Burketown earlier this year from August 16 – 20.

The festival revolved around the Frontier Days Rodeo, which this year culminated in the first Indigenous Rodeo Championship buckles being awarded to Aboriginal Men & Women. The festival also included the Indigenous Rodeo Ball, where the first ever Indigenous Rodeo Queen & Indigenous Rodeo Princess were crowned.

Australian country music royalty Troy Cassar-Daley and Kasey Chambers headlined the Festival’s musical performances, and together with Australian rock legend Shane Howard from Goanna, gave the Gulf a weekend of music that won’t easily be forgotten.

Indigenous dancers from across the world took part in the ‘Kabarraijbi Wangkijbi Spectacular’, which formed part of the Cultural program which ran each night of the Festival. The Kabarrijbi Wangkijbi Spectacular, which means Song and dance, featured local dancers from Doomadgee and Burketown, who were joined by Indigenous dance groups from Torres Strait Island, Toowoomba as well as Native American dancers from the Navajo and Eastern Shoshone / Northern Arapaho Tribes.

The Coming Together of Nations is a significant event for the Gulf, as it represents the meeting and then uniting of Indigenous tribes in the region and from around the world. Former Miss Native American USA Sarah Ortegon says this event took on extra significance for her.

“Watching the people of the Gulf come together, together with other tribes from around the Country is a beautiful thing. I wish there was more of this in the world.”

The cultural program included performances from:

  • Gawa-Ngardu Dumaji (Doomadgee)
  • Malu Kiai (Torres Strait Island)
  • Witnanjill Fustan (Toowoomba Students)
  • Native American Dancers Sarah Ortegon (Eastern Shoshone / Northern Arapaho Tribe) and Kenneth Shirley (Navajo Nation)

There are big plans to continue to grow the Festival in the future, and the Waanyi PBC is proud to support this initiative, which seek to improve the Gulf through economic development and promoting our cultural.

First Waanyi Knowledge Transfer Camp a Success

The Waanyi community joined members of the University of Queensland’s Waanyi Cultural Materials Research Project, for the first Waanyi knowledge transfer camp. The camp, which is headed by Professor David Trigger, sees the first batch of Waanyi cultural information gathered from more than forty years of research returned to the ancestors of the original story tellers.

Professor Trigger, anthropologist Richard Martin and archaeologist Kate Connell met with Waanyi families on Country and visited, marked and recorded several sacred sites that were previously unknown to the research team. The team also spoke with each family and relayed the stories and knowledge passed to them from previous ancestral generations of Waanyi People.

Len Cubby is one of the family members who took part in the first Waanyi Knowledge Transfer Camp, and met with the UQ team at Seigal Creek.  He says the stories and information Professor Trigger and his team are returning to Country are important for the youth to understand where they come from.

“These stories, the youth need to know about them. They should know what each place means, and why people go there. It’s good what (they) are doing, showing this to the people”

The Waanyi PBC board has an agreement with the University of Queensland, that will see more knowledge transfer camps held as part of the Waanyi Cultural Materials Research Project. Chair of the Waanyi PBC Alec Doomadgee says all Waanyi families are welcome and encouraged to take part in these camps.

We had an amazing few days out on country doing the Waanyi Knowledge Transfer camp and marking ‘sacred sites’.The Waanyi PBC will be conducting more of these camps and hopes all Waanyi families can get involved and be a part of this great initiative.”

All information regarding upcoming camps will be posted to the PBC website, and included in the PBC newsletters. To become involved, or to find out more information on the project, contact the PBC.

Doomadgee Rodeo Ground Upgrade On Track

As this years Doomadgee Rodeo gets closer, work on the Rodeo ground upgrade is continuing. Site manager Mark Tranter from Aussie Wide Constructions is on site, together with a team of 6 locals, four of whom are from the MyPathways program.

The upgrade works which are under way include:

  • Clearing and maintaining the grounds and surrounding area,
  • Replacing all broken fencing,
  • Installing new fencing to seperate riders and the fans to improve safety,
  • Removing the current shade structures and installing replacements,
  • Installing new grand stand seating
  • Improving the safety of the bull chutes
  • Installing a new ramp for cattle and Horse deliveries

While we were on site, we were joined by PBC Deputy Chairman Henry Aplin. While inspecting the grounds and work  so far, he said he was very impressed with the work completed so far, and was looking forward to the ground reopening.

The upgrade is on track to meet it’s set completion date, meaning the grounds will be ready for this years Doomadgee Rodeo.

UQ & PBC Partnership will return cultural materials to Country

 

The Waanyi PBC has entered into a landmark partnership with the University of Queensland, that will see huge archives of cultural materials relating to the Waanyi people, land claims and the native title process returned to Waanyi Country.

 

The project will provide access for the Waanyi people in the region to these previously unseen cultural materials in two ways. First, by creating a digital archive, and building the systems necessary for people in Waanyi country to access it, and secondly through a number of visits to Country where specific culturally important materials and information will be presented to the Waanyi people by Professor Trigger and his UQ team.

 

Chair of the Waanyi PBC Alec Doomadgee says this is an important step in making sure the Waanyi culture and heritage is preserved for generations to come.

 

Getting our Culture back to Country is so important for our people. But more importantly, the next generation of Waanyi people will be able to access these important cultural artifacts through the online archive. This is a great moment for the Waanyi people, which can’t come soon enough.”

Meeting with new Century Mine owners

It was fantastic to meet with the new owners of the Century Mine on Friday about opportunities for local mob.
The guys were very receptive to my ideas and look forward to employing more people up on Waanyi Land.
We currently have people up on site as part of the Downer Joint Venture with the PBC and fingers crossed we can get some more working up there soon.

April 2017 Message from Alec: Big Things are Coming!

In late March of this year I met with the Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, to talk about ways to bring positive outcomes to the Lower Gulf Country around Doomadgee. We spoke about our unique Country, and the ways which we can bring about opportunities to show it off to the rest of the Country. Watch this space!

Our Waanyi Regen Joint Venture is continuing to employ local people to maintain the old Century mine, and regenerate the site. So far, Waanyi ReGen has contracted more than $270,000 of work to the local community, and we hope there is more work on the way.

This is only the beginning of what we can achieve for the community. With your support we will create real and long lasting change for the Lower Gulf.
Alec Doomadgee, Chair Waanyi PBC

Rodeo Ground Construction Starting Soon

Work on the Rodeo ground upgrade is almost ready to start, and Aussie Wide Constructions is looking for labourers, welders and skilled tradespeople for the job.

Aussie Wide Constructions met with MyPathways in late March to talk about the potential opportunities for the community.

Work includes fencing, construction of shade structures and amenities in the campgrounds.

If you interested, contact MyPathways for more information.

Century Mine Sale

It’s been announced that MMG has entered into an agreement with Century Mine Rehabilitation Project Pty Ltd for the sale transfer of Century Mine site.

The deal sees a focus on rehabilitating the mine site, and preserving the ongoing economic legacy of the mine.

This is positive news for our community and Country. Stay tuned, there’s more on this to come soon.