Leadership Program off to a busy start
Twenty-five people gathered for the Leadership Program’s first meeting for the year. With the support of the Department of Parks and Wildlife rangers and Maitland Parker (Banjima Elder) we were able to use the ranger meeting room at Karijini headquarters. It was a great space away from everything happening in Newman for the Leadership group to talk.
This was an important meeting for the group to choose the next round of people to get involved in the program. There are now over 30 people involved in the Leadership Program. The newcomers this year are a mix of people from all of the communities including Bidyadanga and Nullagine.
Shorty (Terry) Sailor and Gavin Edwards are two of the new participants joining the program this year. They work for BHP at the Whaleback mine in Newman. It is great that BHP Billiton is supporting these guys to be involved in this personal development opportunity.
The team was happy to hear at the meeting that Marc Huber (known as Huber) will be returning to Newman with his family so he can help out on the KJ Leadership Program. Everyone knows Huber from his ranger coordinator role in Parnngurr. It will be a great thing to have Huber and his family back in Newman and involved in the running of the leadership program.
The first trip for the leadership team was the South West Coast Walk. This has become an important trip for the participants starting on the leadership program. Clarence, Galvin and Ashley, participants from last year led the trip.
These guys made sure the new group knew where to go, what they could expect to eat and the gear they would be using. On this walk, we also had Peter Kendrick (PK) join us. PK is well known and respected by many Martu for his long association working on the rock wallaby project around Kaalpi and Jilukurru with the Department of Parks and Wildlife. PK spent many of his early years in the southwest and was happy he could join the leadership group on this walk and share stories.
Deen Potter, the previous magistrate in the Pilbara, joined the group for the first day of the hike. The leadership group developed a strong bond with Deen over the past few years. It was a big show of respect that Deen came along to walk with the guys on their first day.
Deen has always told the group about the importance of being strong in yourself and the decisions you make. He sees the leadership group as people that can make positive changes for themselves and their community. He is a big supporter of the Leadership Program and the journey that these guys are on.
Coming up for the leadership team this year is an exciting mix of trips and activities for people to extend themselves and learn about new things that are important for Martu. This year we will also start to involve women in the Leadership Program with a recent trip to Canberra seeking out funding for the women’s program.
Some very good news for the leadership group is that PJ is back. He will be based in Perth and will be working with the team over the year on important coursework learning about mainstream organisations and law. A big year of learning is coming up for the leadership group.
From top: Slim talking to the new leadership group about the program; Marc Huber and his family moving back to Newman; Deen Potter, previous magistrate, sitting with the guys after the first day of hiking; Leadership participants having a well earned rest;Heading into the Herbert Smith and FreeHills Lawyer headquarters in Perth to learn about Company Law