Uluru handback anniversary marks 10 years of CLC community development achievements
When the Anangu traditional owners of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park commemorate 30 years since the handback of their land, it is not the only anniversary they are celebrating.
They are also marking a decade of achieving impressive development outcomes in communities across the south-west of the Northern Territory and the north of South Australia, using their rent money from the jointly managed park.
“In 2005 Mutitjulu witnessed the birth of what has become the CLC’s innovative and very successful community development program,” said CLC Director, David Ross.
“It started in this park and today leads the country when it comes to Aboriginal development from the ground up.”
The traditional owners of the park have invited Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the media to attend a presentation about the Uluru Rent Money (URM)Project on Monday morning at the Mutitjulu pool.
They built the pool with complementary funding from the Aboriginals Benefit Account and are operating it with their own money.
“The pool is certainly the best known of the many successful initiatives of the URM Project, one of six major projects making up the CLC’s community development program,” Mr Ross said.
“Among other great outcomes, it has helped to lift primary school attendance thanks to the community’s ‘yes pool – yes school’ policy.”
“Traditional owners of the park want to show off the projects they planned and funded in dozens of other remote communities and homelands where they live, not just in Mutitjulu.”
He said the URM project has achieved a broad range of social, cultural and economic outcomes.
Anangu have prioritised initiatives ranging from support for dialysis patients to community stores, church and recreation hall renovations and youth diversionary activities.
Independent evaluation and monitoring of the URM Project found that it has also reinforced Anangu confidence in their ability to make decisions and influence development outcomes.
It has built their governance capacity to effectively manage the millions of dollars they have invested in their own development initiatives.
Since 2005 the URM Project has allocated $8 million to 80 initiatives of which 65 are complete. Anangu have funded others, such as the pool, on an ongoing basis.
“Feedback from Anangu shows that they are now looking to generate further development outcomes, including more training and employment,” Mr Ross said.
“They have got impressive runs on the board, but to take this to another level we need more government buy-in.”
“We need co-funding for Anangu initiatives and more resources so the CLC can keep meeting constituent demand for community development support.”
Mr Ross said while the Prime Minister has given his apologies, he has a standing invitation from traditional owners to hear firsthand from them about their achievements.
They plan to present to Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and other invited guests at the Mutitjulu pool at 10.30 on Monday, 26 October.
25 October 2015
Contact: Elke Wiesmann, 0417 877 579, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fact sheets and images are available on request. Independent monitoring and evaluation reports are at www.clc.org.au/articles/cat/community-development/.