Martu Leadership Program: Looking back and planning forward

Every year there is a big gathering of Martu that have been working on the Martu Leadership Program. This is a time to look at what the team has been doing in the program and think about where they are going.

This meeting talked about the journey of the Martu Leadership Program. The participants built a wall of the most important parts of their work. This was a powerful story that started with how Martu on the Martu Leadership Program are building a strong team. There is a good feeling from Martu working together. Everybody could see that this program gave Martu from all communities a chance to come together and work as one.  

Martu are gaining confidence through participation in the program. People are feeling stronger to get up and tell their story to external stakeholders and Martu back in communities. A big part of 2017 was providing feedback to the seven different communities. 

These feedback sessions are an opportunity to explain to Martu about what they are doing in the program as well as sharing their knowledge on topics such as how to run a strong company, how to work well with government and how to create more job opportunities for Martu. Members of the Martu Leadership Program can see that they can be a big part of the future for developing strong Martu controlled companies. 

Martu are building strong partnerships. Looking back we could see that last year the MLP presented to a number of different service providers, companies, organisations, agencies and government. 
Members of the Martu Leadership Program say Kujungkarrini – working together – is the way forward for Martu.

Planning for 2018, Martu are keen to keep leading discussion and seeking change in the criminal justice system. Martu continue to work closely in partnership with the police, the magistrate, the staff at Roebourne Regional prison and lawyers from the Aboriginal Legal Service. Some key areas for the participants to work on in 2018 include:

  • Working with the Roebourne Regional prison and inmates on developing parole plans and clear pathways for people after prison.
  • Changing the licensing story for Martu by working with the magistrate so more Martu can get their licenses for work and slowly prove themselves to get their licence back.
  • Trialling a new way to explain restraining orders and police orders.  Working with the Newman Police and Martu in Newman to explain what the law is trying to do to keep people safe. This is two-way learning for Martu and police working together.
  • Setting up a diversionary program, to keep people out of prison.
  • Thinking differently about money, jobs and the Martu economy. Working with Deloitte to find new ways for Martu to make money.  
  • Expanding Martu involvement in delivering cultural awareness to all the service providers and organisations that work with Martu.
  • Expanding what the Martu Leadership participants has learnt about governance and sharing this knowledge with community councils and other ranger teams throughout Australia. 

There is a lot of good feeling for what comes next and 2018 is shaping up to be another busy year for the Martu Leadership Program.