In 2009, the Power and Water Corporation approached the Yolŋu Aboriginal Consultancy Initiative at Charles Darwin University to undertake a collaborative project to examine and improve engagement with Milingimbi community over issues of water management. In preliminary meetings with representatives from Power and Water, East Arnhem Shire, and Territory Housing, we decided upon a community consultation in which two sides of the water story would be told – the Yolŋu side, and the Power and Water side. We proposed that the community story telling process would lead to discussions about ways forward with community engagement around water management. Consultations were held at Milingimbi over four days. Visits were made to people’s homes, to government agencies, and to significant sites around the island, including the bores and tanks. People talked about Yolŋu traditional knowledge of water, and the history of water since before the mission days. They talked about their understanding of contemporary water technology and use, how water should be cared for, and how Yolŋu are, and could be involved in water management. Interviews in Yolŋu languages were transcribed and translated, and the ideas emerging we rearranged into themes for Stage 1 of the report. In Stage 2, Power and Water sent three representatives to Milingimbi to meet with key elders and the CDU researchers. At that meeting, issues arising from the report were discussed, the proposed posters were evaluated, and agreements made over ways forward for working together. Power and Water’s conclusions are included in Stage 2 of the report. CDU’s responses to further questions arising from the trip to Milingimbi are included in break-out text boxes throughout the report. The Yolŋu elders conveyed their thanks to Power and Water for what they saw as a respectful and productive process. The Power and Water Corporation also thanks Milingimbi Yolŋu and Charles Darwin University.
|Place of Publication
|Charles Darwin University
|Power and Water Corporation (NT Dept)
|Number of pages
|Published - 2010