Warlpiri use royalties to build Yuendumu Pool

Posted: Mon, October 27, 2008

The Central Land Council has congratulated the people of Yuendumu on their successful efforts to raise enough money to have a pool built under the Pools in Remote Areas scheme.

This scheme operated under a shared funding arrangement was an equal three way split between the Commonwealth Government, the Territory Government, and the Yuendumu Community.

CLC Director David Ross said the community had put in a huge effort.

“The Mt Theo Substance Misuse Aboriginal Corporation has done a fantastic job fundraising and managing the project,” Mr Ross said.

“The community put in $400,000 of their royalty money from a nearby mine to bring their dream to reality.

“Warlukurlangu Artists put in a substantial amount of money and philanthropic organisations also contributed generously. The CLC was a member of the Steering Committee to manage the project.

“People at Yuendumu have wanted a swimming pool for 30 years and their decision to spend royalties to help get one is a wise investment for the community's future,” Mr Ross said.

He says the Land Council is working hard to persuade the royalty associations it helps administer take a more long term view of the money.

“Our job is to ensure that Aboriginal people get the best outcomes they can from those royalties,” Mr Ross said.

“These mines won't be around forever and unless they spend some of that money on things that have long term benefits they could be left with nothing for their kids,”

“We have managed to persuade people to start spending money from land use agreements and rent on projects that will benefit the entire community,” he said.

The Warlpiri are also using their royalties to provide educational opportunities through the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT) which is building early childhood centres, youth media programs, Community Learning Centres and other initiatives.