Introduction and background:
One of the key priority issues identified for action by the Halls Creek – East Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee (HC-EK LCDC) in 2005 was the control of erosion associated with roads and fencelines on pastoral leases.
As a result, the HC-EK LCDC and Ord Land and Water (OLW) contracted Darryl Hill from Soil Save to conduct a series of Erosion Control Workshops in the Shires of Wyndham East Kimberley and Halls Creek.
Funding support was received from the Australian Government National Landcare Program (NLP) and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) and four workshops were held in April 2006. Workshops were held at Carlton Hill Station, Ruby Plains Station, Larrawa Station and Argyle Downs Station.
To provide a measure of the value of these workshops in assisting land managers to address erosion on pastoral leases, a survey of workshop participants was undertaken in June 2007.
- A survey was undertaken in June 2007 to provide a measure of the value of the Erosion Control Workshops held in the East Kimberley region of WA in 2006 in assisting land managers to address erosion on pastoral leases.
- A response to the survey was received from 48% of original workshop attendees, however 90% of actual decision-makers (station managers of grader contractors) who were surveyed provided responses.
- 92 % of respondents rated the management of soil erosion as either of CRITICAL or of HIGH importance to their business or work.
- The level of UNDERSTANDING of the causes of soil erosion was already high in the surveyed group prior to attending the workshop and was not significantly increased by attending.
- However, the workshop significantly increased the surveyed groups’ ability to PLAN and UNDERTAKE erosion control works.
- To date, at least 140 erosion control banks have been put in by the surveyed group with at least 30-40 more planned for construction by end 2007.
- To date, at least 2850 km of station roads and fence-lines have been assessed for potential erosion, and works undertaken where needed, as a result of attending the workshops.
- 100% of the surveyed group felt that the workshops had been conducted at a suitable site for them and had been delivered in an appropriate and easy to understand way.
- 83% of respondents rated the workshop as EXCELLENT or GOOD in terms of improving their ability to manage soil erosion.
To select and translate into the languages Miriwoong and Kriol parts the Ord Land and Water Management Plan for broadcast over local radio. This will give greater exposure of the Plan to the Broader community including the Indigenous population. From this we hope to create a greater understanding of the Plan by the community and in particular the Traditional Owners and create the opportunity for their equitable participation in the future management of the natural resources and development of the Ord Land and Water Management Plan 2005
Prior to this project, consultation and engaging the Indigenous community has proved to be difficult and largely ineffective, we believe that this is due to the lack of inter-cultural communication skills that previously have not taken into account traditional owner communication practices. this project seeks to address that issueMethods
Traditional Owners worked with staff from OLW and the Mirima Language centre to identify goals, associated strategies and actions from the Plan that were considered important to local Indigenous people. These were summarised as messages, written into plain English then translated into Miriwoong and Kriol.
The messages were broadcast over Waringarri Radio both locally and nationally in five minute information packages that delivered the selected message firstly in English, followed by Miriwoong and then Kriol. At various times during the day there are previews telling people what time they can hear the messages. The broadcast started on the 5th April 2004 and went for a period of 10 weeks.Outputs
To encourage awareness in Indigenous people of the relevant goals within the management plan.
To encourage participation of Indigenous people in future local natural resource management planning.
To expose the community to the language of a significant portion of the community.
To development an education tool for Traditional Owners to learn their own language.
Ord Land and Water Introduction (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
“Ord Land and Water” berrandawoon nganayima Gananarrawa.
“Ord ,Land and Water” are here in Kununurra.
Ord Land and Water, woonyjoo goorrinda dawang thoon gerloong.“Ord ,Land and Water” want to look after land and water.
Woonyjoo goorrinda, yoowoorroo baleg.
They want to look after the country together with all of us.
Gerloong giriyin-nging yilowamang, gerlgag gemindayin-boorroo maying danjarri goorroowinben-nging. Wanyja gerlga woomenken gerloo yiloowamang.
Water that comes from under the ground might be harmful for the things they grow on the farms. The underground water might be no good.
Boorrootha yirrgeb berrandawoon yinageb.
They are the ones talking about it and thinking about it.
Yinageb berrandawoon jamang.”
They are thinking about things.
Gerloonga gerlga woomenken-nging, gerloong warany ginayin, woontha nawoo danjarrri goorroomenben-nging maying woothoowoothoong.
The water might be no good. If the water is good it is used to grow all the food plants.
Boorriyathara-woorr, yirrgeb berrandawoon.
Those are the things they are talking about.
“Thenang gerlga woomenken.” woomberrramindawoon.
“What might go wrong?” they say.
Jamang yangge berriliyandawoon, “Gabi yarrang berrayinga
They were asking each other “What will we do about this?”
Yanggiyanggeb berriliyandawoon “Gaboo yarrang-ni gerloonga-woo, berrayinga gilijinga?”
They kept asking each other “What will we do about the water and this river?”
Yirrgeb berriliyandawoon-noo gerloonga, ngoondengig-gerringa dawanga.
They were talking to each other about the water and about making the land good.
Ngenjayinga dawanga ngoondengi goowinda-yoowoor yagoon.
This land should stay good for all of us as well (as the water).
Biggest mob came together to talk about ways to fix the problems.
They made decisions about what to do and how to do it.
Yawoorroontha berriya, yawoorroonthara.
Lots of people came, there was a big mob.
“Gaboob woolanga berrayinga yirrgeb yarren ngoondebba, ngenjayinga-noo dawang gerloong thoon.”
“What should we do to look after this country and the water?”
“Gaboob yarren ngoondeb-gerring ngenjayinga dawanga ngoondengi goowoonken,” berrilinda yirrge, ngoorroong, jayimalan, ngerrerregoowoong marranbalang.
“What should we do to keep the country good?” they asked each other and talked to the important government white person.
Jayimalantha berrilinda ngerrerregoowoonga “Ngoondeb gidoowoo woonyjoo goorrooonggoo.”
They told the important government lawyer “Let the country stay good and to let people look after it.”
“Dawang, geloong, woonyjoo goorroonggoo.”
“Let them look after the land and the water.”
“Gerloong, dawang, woonyjoo. Derd ngenjayinga gerloonga dawanga.”
“Water, country, look after it. Watch this water and land.”
Ngenjayinga yangge goorrrilanda, ngoorroonga jayimalana.
This is what they asked the important man.
“Dawanga derd yirrinda ngoondeb, ngoondengi-biny.”
“We want to watch the country so that it is good.”
“Woonyjoo barranggoo, gerloonga, dawanga.”
“You all should look after the water and land.”
“Jerrawooma bamoo-yirri lale, woorlang ngoondengi-biny.
“You should tell us a good word.”
Bamoo yirri, warany woonyjoo yirremendayin, woontha nyengoo woorla bamoo-yarr.
“Tell us so that we can look after the country, you tell us your word.”
Boorroo Ord Land and Water ngoowa ngerrerregoowoong, ngerregoo gooroonyoong, nawoo jayimalan wayi yangge goorrilan, woontha ngenayi-ngarnang yirrgeb berrandawoon.
Those Ord Land and Water (people) are not the government where they asked for help, they are people belonging to here who were talking together.
Gabi-biny berranben-nging, woorlab, woorla yarrilijgoo, yarrenkoo-woorri yajany woorlab.They come from anywhere to talk, let’s all talk together, we should all talk to them together.
Woomberramindawoon-yarri yoowoorroo Miriwoonga, gerloong dawang ngoodenging, woonyjoo-gerring. Gaboo woonyjoo goorroong, ngoondebtha.
They are telling us Miriwoong about keeping looking after the country so the land an water will be good. What they want to do to look after country and keep it good.
Wanyja ngoondenging woorlang rangga berren-nging, Miriwoo-biny woorlab yarroonyan-nging woonyjoo-gerring.
Maybe they will hear this good story that we are telling in Miriwoong about looking about the country.
Jama baam-nging, ngenangenag gebelam-banyjilng berradben-nging-yarri woonyjoo yarrimija, dawanga ngenjayinga, goonhin yarrinda woonyjoo.
Then when they all come to us from the farms and all over the bush we can look after this country together, we can all care for the land.
Yirrge yarrilija jimantha yarrinda ngoondebtha, jawale thegoobeli-yoowoorroo, marranbalang ngoonthebtha warreg yarrenkoo, ngoorroo yarremijgoo helppem. Ngoorroo yarrimejja.
We should ask each other how we can do it truly in a good way, us black people and the white people, we should work together and help each other.
Yoowoorroo warreg, boorroowany warreg, jimantha, roo yarrimeja.
We should work and they should work in a proper way, we should do it holding together.
Dawanga ngoondebtha, ngoondengi goowinda-yoowoorr jamang.
The country will be good for all of us then.
- Weeds (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Native Plants and Animals (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Water Quality (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Fire (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Fish Stock (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Feral Plants and Animals (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Riparian Areas (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Sewage Waste Water (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
- Recreational River use (Miriwoong and Kriol audio)
Funding and Project Partners
- Mirima Dawang Woorlab-Gerring Dawang Language Centre
- Waringarri Radio 6WR
This report presents the responses to the Ord River Catchment Communication Questionnaire received from natural resource managers, service providers and stakeholders within the catchment. The aim of this survey was to provide an understanding of current communication in the catchment and provide a basis to develop strategies for improved communication on natural resource management (NRM) issues.
The survey was conducted in January and February 2004. Responses were received from 19 of 28 non-indigenous managed pastoral leases (68%); from five of seven indigenous individuals/organizations (71%); from three of four mining/exploration enterprises (75%) and from fourteen of nineteen agency staff approached for comment (76%).
- Respondents were generally satisfied with the current ways of getting messages out to government agencies,organisations and others in industry.
- The current level and effectiveness of communication generally in the WA section of the catchment was rated as average. Communication between the NT and WA sections was considered non-existent.
- The preferred methods of communication for matters to do with business and for social interaction were telephone, email and face-to–face.
- Contact with the Department of Agriculture WA (DAWA) was infrequent, but was preferably done on the telephone or face-to-face.
- Communication with other government organizations/agencies was also infrequent with the least preferred method of communication being Land Conservation District Committee (LCDC) meetings.
- Organised meetings, including LCDC meetings were considered ineffective. The lack of activities/projects being undertaken within this process is one key contributor to this ineffectiveness.
- Newsletters including the DAWA Pastoral Memo were considered useful.
- strong preference for more personal means of communication (face-to-face and telephone) with Indigenous people is apparent. These means are also the preferred communication means of the Indigenous people that were consulted.
- Keeping in touch with indigenous organisations is done on the telephone, email, face-to-face or through organized meetings.
- Overall the level of contact with other interest groups in the catchment is low
- The development and maintenance of good personal relationships and trust was the key to effective communication for all catchment community
Improving communication within the catchment on NRM issues
Community members that were surveyed felt that there are currently ample methods available for communication. Respondents felt that they needed to make more of an effort and make sure that they participated in communication and provide input into NRM issues in the catchment. Improved communication is more likely to come from encouraging people to communicate more.
Knowing who to communicate with was seen by many as an essential first step. All stakeholder groups in the catchment need to be identified and a list of contact details and communication preferences for all catchment people needs to be made available on a database.
Knowing what the issues are was also considered important. We need to ensure that all groups are included in information sharing and that issues affecting the catchment are identified and discussed at an early stage. This might be achieved through regular emailing of a small/brief newsletter of ideas, issues and events. This newsletter could be a multi-agency/group newsletter on NRM issues. It was suggested that a website for NRM issues in the catchment be established as a key point of contact.
A well-funded, charismatic catchment coordinator is required. That person would be responsible for keeping people informed/communicating and for developing NRM projects. Support from an established organization in the region is needed. The lack of NRM activities and projects in the catchment is currently limiting community involvement in improved resource management.
An annual meeting would be useful where all resource managers and interested groups can meet and present/discuss their roles, responsibilities and activities in the catchment. More effort is needed to attempt to get existing groups in the catchment working well.
There is a pressing need to increase the involvement of indigenous people in NRM related activities and community planning. Government people must get out and talk much more regularly with people in the communities and towns of the catchment. Increased support for efforts to bridge language difficulties is needed.
Increased face-to-face contact and continued effort to develop and maintain personal relationships and trust is required from all stakeholders within the catchment. Even when doing business from a distance it is important to make time for face-to-face contact with stakeholders/neighbours.
Take home messages
Community planning must be more inclusive of the whole community.
Don’t make any promises unless you are able to deliver on them.