Featured / News / Community / 28th March 2023
Moving forward: exciting plans for Land Council
With the re-election of the board coming in August, Coonabarabran Local Aboriginal Land Council (CLALC) has wrapped up the last four years of achievements, along with some exciting new projects in the works.
CLALC has made some significant progress in the past four years with their current board.
With over $545,000 secured in funding for various projects, chairperson Naomi Stanton said the organisation was proud of how far it had come and were excited for the future of the CLALC.
“Funding in the amount of $231,964 has been secured for the construction of disability access toilets near the Burra Bee Dee cemetery,” Mrs Stanton said.
Funding for this project was secured in January and it is expected that the toilet block will be installed in the next four months, as time is required for manufacturing, delivery, and installation.
Through Aboriginal Affairs under Closing the Gap, CLALC has secured a Community and Place grant in the amount of $246,016.
With available projects on which to use the funding including “programs, equipment, vehicles and infrastructure”, CLALC will allocate the funding towards renovations at the old police residence in Coonabarabran, with plans to establish an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) in the future.
Renovations are set to commence once local contractors are secured, and are expected to be finalised before Christmas.
The Aboriginal Medical Service will be named ‘Maaruma-li’, meaning – “to fix, heal and make better”.
Mrs Stanton said this comes after community consultations that showed growing concerns for not having adequate Aboriginal medical assistance in Coonabarabran.
“Maaruma-li AMS is being formed and registration is close,” Mrs Stanton said. “It was essential to have a location for this project to come to light.”
This grant funding was applied for under Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations and groups and was required to meet certain Closing the Gap targets.
Out of the 19 socio- economic targets, CLALC included four in their application: ‘Everyone enjoys long and healthy lives’, ‘Children are born healthy and strong’, ‘Children thrive in their early years’, and ‘Youth are engaged in employment or education’.
Burra Bee Dee
Burra Bee Dee will also receive some further upgrades as over $87,000 has been secured in funding for a number of projects at the site.
The Office of Environment and Heritage has provided funding for upgrades to Mary Jane Cain’s headstone, which CLALC says will ensure that everyone will be able to recognise Mary Jane Cain’s grave when they walk into the mission cemetery.
“She deserves the recognition after all she was able to achieve for her people,” Mrs Stanton said.
With the impacts of increased rainfall evident in damages at the cemetery, CLALC is in the process of sourcing funding to provide further long-term sustainability measures for the site.
CLALC has also been working with an architect to help design a new lawn cemetery, as the current cemetery is already close to capacity and susceptible to water damage.
There are also plans for the construction of a new church at Burra Bee Dee where the community can hold funeral services like it once did, as well as a memorial garden as a place where people can lay down the ashes of their loved ones or mourn the loss of relatives with unmarked graves.
Though funding for the church and memorial garden has not yet been secured, designs for these are currently being finalised with an architect to help with the application process.
With the installation of security cameras late last year, CLALC is now replacing the water tank at the cemetery, while a local Aboriginal contractor, Kyle Antaw, has also been hired as a caretaker for the mission as well as CLALC-owned blocks in town.
There are also some big plans to come in Coonabarabran, with plans for the building of affordable, energy-efficient disability access units for the elderly.
The first of these units has already been funded and is currently in the manufacturing process.
It is expected that the unit will be built in four to six months on Aboriginal- owned land, with further units to come as more funding is secured.
This project will expand the CLALC’s housing portfolio to cater to rental shortages and a growing housing list.
CLALC currently manage 39 homes locally with Davidson Cameron and Co and is hoping to expand this property portfolio in the near future.
The establishment of an events committee has also been a notable achievement, helping to organise community events including NAIDOC Week celebrations and Sorry Day commemorations.
Funding in the amount of $16,000 has been secured for the Gamilaraay language program run by Suellyn Tighe, which began in 2022 and is set to resume this year.
Current CLALC CEO Monique Galvin will finish up as CEO on Friday, 24 March.
CLALC members extend their thanks to Monique for her service to the community during her time as CEO.
“Monique has been a truly great asset to the CLALC over the past four years and we wish her well in her future endeavours.”