On Sunday 15 January, more than 20 family members from the Carnarvon area came together for a group meeting organised by the Njamal People’s Trust Advisory Committee (TAC) members and the team from Indigenous Services.
This meeting covered a broad range of matters relating to family lineage, Native Title, employment and business development, and upcoming community projects.
Of note the meeting discussed findings of recent genealogical research, carried out as part of Mrs Eaton’s road mapping project, which confirmed a shared lineage between two Carnarvon (Mitchell) family groups.
It also provided an opportunity for family members to ask questions about the role of the TAC members and Njamal staff members, and to vote for their family’s TAC representative for 2017.
Mrs Eaton provided an overview of her role as Elders Coordinator, which involves working alongside elders on matters such as Native Title and providing a transparent communication process among families so that elders living away from the Hedland remain informed of matters relating to the claim.
Indigenous Services Chairman Rod Carter provided an updated number of community projects underway in 2017, which gave people a good indication of the positive things underway and available to them throughout the Pilbara Carnarvon area.
This included opportunities for businesses, employment and skills development, within the resource sector as well as other industries.
Rod also spoke about a proposal underway with the Minister for Housing, for the Njamal People’s Trust to purchase and renovate a number of Homeswest houses to offer as rentals for Njamal People at the same price.
Importantly, this project also involves the option of transferring home ownership to rental tenants after three years, at no extra cost.
Rod also shared Njamal’s plans to purchase existing buildings and turn them into new community facilities, such as an affordable child care centre and possible community medical centre.
Not only did Sunday’s meeting help achieve a common interest among the Mitchell family, it allowed family members to engage with Mrs Eaton as the Elder applicant for the Mitchell family group.
And for members of the TAC and Indigenous Services team, it was extremely encouraging to see such a good community turn out for the meeting and to reach some positive outcomes.
The meeting set a great example for how we’d like to communicate and work together in 2017.
Feature image: Carnarvon Mitchell Family Meeting, 15 January 2017