Unlocking Indigenous pastoral potential

21 Nov 2017

BUSINESS management, best pastoral practice, managing mental health, and creating a robust peer support network across Australia were key themes of the Indigenous Cattleman’s Workshop held in Port Augusta November 21-23. With a third of the enrolled participants young women, the event reflects the rise of Indigenous women embracing promising management career pathways in agriculture. 

The workshop is a first for South Australia, and is part of the North West Indigenous Pastoral Project, which has helped train and employ 67 pastoral workers, and return more than 272,000 hectares of indigenous-owned land back to sustainable, commercial primary production.
The NWIPP project – which has run for three years – is jointly funded by Primary Industries and Regions SA and the Indigenous Land Corporation, and helps deliver primary industries training, employment, and long-term business outcomes for six important SA indigenous-owned properties: Andamooka, Purple Downs, and Roxby Downs Stations (Kokatha Pastoral Pty Ltd); Emeroo Station (Bungala Aboriginal Corporation); Mabel Creek Station (AMY Nominees Pty Ltd) and parts of the APY Lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara).
Pastoralists will travel from remote Queensland, Western Australia, and Northern Territory, to join their SA counterparts. The group collectively manage more than 70,000 head of cattle. 
It follows the proven track record of similar ILC projects and workshops in QLD, WA, and NT to increase the capability of current and potential indigenous business partners, and aid real long-term economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits to Indigenous communities and the wider region.
The first day of the workshop falls on National Ag Day November 21, and serves as a timely opportunity to acknowledge the important role Indigenous pastoralists have had, and will have, in the pastoral sector.
The SA Government has committed almost $2.9 million to the NWIPP since it began in 2015, and ILC has provided a further $700,000 in funding for property management planning, plant, equipment and infrastructure development to enable land to be brought back into production.
ILC Group CEO John Maher said the pastoral project in South Australia fits the nation building mandate of the ILC to assist the economic empowerment of Indigenous Australians and their future prosperity.
“We are constantly searching for new ways to build opportunities for Indigenous Australians in the pastoral, tourism and environmental sectors, because that is where some of the key opportunities exist for Indigenous land-based economic development,” Mr Maher said.
“Indigenous Australians hold extensive areas of pastoral lands and have a rich heritage with the pastoral industry, and this invaluable experience along with knowledge and skills of traditional land management practices mean Indigenous Australians have a unique contribution to make to the pastoral industry,” he said. 
“Our role at the ILC is to create opportunities to unlock this potential by generating new enterprises and developing sustainable and meaningful career pathways for local Indigenous people involved with NWIPP.
“One way we are doing this is by holding the Indigenous Cattlemen’s Workshop, to support
Indigenous Australians’ aspirations to be more involved in the pastoral industry at a deeper level. 
“This workshop brings together Indigenous cattlemen and cattlewomen from northern and southern parts of Australia, to share their experiences and learnings.
“We are proud of our involvement in the NWIPP which has brought more than 272,000 hectares of Indigenous-held land into productivity, and has seen 21 of the Indigenous pastoral workers employed during program move on to independent employment in the pastoral, mining or construction sectors.
“The outcomes of this project are ongoing with mentoring, knowledge sharing and business support just as critical as infrastructure development and pastoral production. We believe partnerships such as this one contribute to real long-term economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefits to Indigenous communities and the wider region.”
Background notes 
The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) is a corporate Commonwealth entity established in 1995 to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people acquire and manage land to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.
The North West Indigenous Pastoral Project was introduced in 2015 supported by $1.4 million of funding from the Jobs Accelerator Fund. A further $1.5 million over two years was committed in the 2016-17 State Budget to support the employment of additional Indigenous pastoral trainees and continue to lift the commercial production capabilities of the participating properties. Additional support and collaboration throughout the NWIPP has been provided through the Work for the Dole Program, Natural Resources Alinytjara Wilurara, TAFE, BHP Billiton and Indigenous Land Corporation’s Australian Indigenous Agribusiness Company Pty Ltd.
For more media information, please contact 
Peter Keough | Public Affairs Officer | Indigenous Land Corporation
Adelaide Office  | 
P: 08 8100 7106  0409 090 852

For more information, please contact the ILSC by clicking Contact Us

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