- George Campbell laid to rest in Yarralin
George Campbell was laid to rest in Yarralin today, with his funeral service held in front of many friends, family, loved ones, and colleagues.
Born in Yarralin or as it was known at the time, the Gordon Creek Station, near the Old Manager’s House at the Boab Tree. Mr Campbell was a strong advocate for the community, with 35 years of service on the NLC. He also served on ATSIC, the Walangeri Ngumpinku Community Government Council, and was involved in the founding of Walangeri Ngumpinku Aboriginal Corporation.
He will be missed by many in community.
- Community meeting to alleviate concerns about COVID
The Police held a community meeting at the store today to alleviate concerns in Yarralin, following recent COVID outbreaks.
Everybody knows the importance of wearing masks and social distancing where possible. The meeting allowed community to ask questions and seek clarification around what’s happening locally.
We’re trying to limit the spread by bringing in the following rules for the Yarralin Community Store:
- Maximum 10 people in the shop at any one time.
- No children in the shop.
- Everybody to wear masks BEFORE they enter the shop.
- Everybody to sanitise their hands when they enter the shop.
- Please check-in with the app when you enter the store.
- Alan Young Najukpayi receives Order of Australia Medal
Local Yarralin resident Alan Young Najukpayi has received an Order of Australia Medal for his work on land claims within the Northern Territory. The NLC have congratulated Mr Young Najukpayi for his work:
Mr Young Najukpayi has selflessly devoted his life to his country, his culture and his people.
He has also provided many years of invaluable service in support of the activities of the NLC, particularly in relation to a number of claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act (ALRA) and the Native Title Act.
Mr Young Najukpayi’s evidence, knowledge, assistance and advice has been critical to the success of a number of land claims and matters and also to the preservation of knowledge of country and the maintenance of culture.
NLC Chair Samuel Bush-Blanasi did not hesitate to support Mr Young Najukpayi’s nomination when he was approached in 2021.
“I can think of no more worthy recipient for such an award than Mr Young Najukpayi, who has contributed so much to his people, country and the work of the Northern Land Council over many, many years,” said Mr Bush-Blanasi.
“Mr Young Najukpayi is a humble man but he is one of the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand. It is only through the dedication and selfless commitment of people like Mr Young Najukpayi that we have got a lot of country back and kept our cultures alive.”
Speaking from Mr Young Najukpayi’s hometown of Yarralin, Mayor of the Victoria Daly Regional Council and Executive Councillor of the NLC, Brian Pedwell, said that the whole of Yarralin and the VRD district was happy for Mr Young Najukpayi today.
“We are all pleased to see that one of our countrymen has been honoured in this way. His recognition is long overdue and I know that I speak on behalf of everyone at Yarralin and right across the VRD when I send our heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to Mr Young Najukpayi, his family and countrymen and women,” said Mayor Pedwell.
- Passing of Mr Darby
It’s with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Mr Brian Darby in community today. Mr Darby was a senior culture man within community and a Director of Walangeri Ngumpinku.
We pass on our respects to his family.
- Community meeting held to discuss COVID measures
A community meeting was held at the store today, to inform community about the recent COVID-19 measures, including the mask mandate.
The NT Police, Katherine West Health, and local community leader Wesley Campbell, all spoke to community to answer any questions they had and let them know about what was going on.
A batch of masks are arriving on the truck tomorrow, which will be available through the store at cost price. The clinic is also supplying masks to those at risk.
- Yarralin Community Store transitions to Community Management
Last year, Victoria Daly Regional Council transferred the Yarralin Community Store to Walangeri Ngumpinku Aboriginal Corporation. We engaged AIG to assist us with the day-to-day management of the store, hiring Store Managers, and dealing with suppliers.
It’s always been our dream to manage the store ourselves, within community. This is a dream that goes back twenty years, when the store was fully staffed by local Yarralin community members – including as Store Managers.
After a lot of hard work, we’re on path to return to full community management. We’re pleased to announce the establishment of Kyang-Kyang Aboriginal Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walangeri Ngumpinku. Kyang-Kyang was created so that the store can operate under its own ABN and to make things easier when it comes to the reporting requirements for the store.
Yarralin Community Store is now a registered business name of Kyang-Kyang Aboriginal Corporation.
As of 1st November 2021, Kyang-Kyang has taken over the management of the Yarralin Community Store from AIG and Walangeri Ngumpinku. We’d like to thank AIG for assisting us with this process and working with us to help achieve our dream of a fully community operated store.
Kyang-Kyang will now be responsible for hiring Store Managers, setting the pricing strategy, and dealing with suppliers. We’ve already engaged Carol & Gary Brown who are working with us as Transition Managers, while we advertise for ongoing Store Managers.
We held a BBQ for community, to announce the transition locally, as well as to thank Andrew and Wendy who worked as relief managers during the transition to Kyang-Kyang. Thanks to the local Police who also helped out with the BBQ.
After a lot of work, we’ve also been able to re-open the Take-Away, which has been closed for over 18 months. It’s great to have it open again and to see it already doing great and so well received by community. Thanks goes to Matt, our Take-Away Supervisor, who’s cooking up a storm.
It’s been an exciting journey and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.
- Work begins on Sandy Creek Culvert
Work has begun on the culvert over Sandy Creek. This is a project that the Yarralin community have been pushing for, for several years now.
It’s great to see work begin as Sandy Creek is the last creek before Yarralin that often cuts us off during the wet. Once it’s open, it will provide regular access to Yarralin through-out the wet and cut-down on road damage – particularly from community members driving back and forth to Sandy Creek, only to have to turn around because they can’t get through the creek.
We’d like to thank the NT Government for their efforts in bringing this project to life.
- Liquor Commission – Public Hearing in Yarralin
The Liquor Commission held a Public Hearing in Yarralin in response to a letter Walangeri Ngumpinku sent Minister Fyles about alcohol issues in community.
Members of community came along to talk about the issues with alcohol and discuss solutions, particularly around licensing restrictions.
Community recognise the issues and know that licensing restrictions are just a small part of the overall picture, with activities needed to engage youth and young adults in community.
- Economic Stimulus funding put to good use in Yarralin
Like many businesses, we were hit hard by COVID-19 with a loss in revenue, especially from the Yarralin Motel. So it was good news when we were successful with an application for some of the Federal Government’s Economic Stimulus funding for Indigenous Businesses.
The funding allowed us to undertake a range of projects at the Yarralin Motel, Yarralin Community Store, our office, and are helping us re-ignite our Ngarinyman Bush Soap products.
The Yarralin Motel now boasts new vinyl floors – repairing damage from heavy rain over the years, and an all new gravel car park which will prevent visitors from having to walk through mud and water during the wet season.
New commercial grade washing machines, linen, and storage cupboards have also been bought. These improvements will ensure the longevity of the motel and maintain ongoing employment opportunities for community.
The Yarralin Community Store is benefitting from a new backup generator (the old one had stopped working many years ago) which will ensure food security for community in the event of power failures. The store carpark was also redesigned, allowing for safer parking of vehicles, and allowing more vehicles to be parked off the street.
Other works at the store include an upgraded point of sale system, a new security system, fencing repairs to improve security, and two new display freezers which replaced old units that were malfunctioning.
Ngarinyman Bush Soap will benefit from new soap moulds, additional soap base, and an advertising campaign to boost sales planned for later this year. You can find out more about Ngarinyman Bush Soap on our Facebook page.
None of these improvements would have been possible without this grant funding which would have threatened long-term and ongoing job opportunities in the Yarralin community. Special thanks goes to the NLC and the Federal Government for the funding.
- New housing completed in Yarralin
GT Builders have been hard at work since October last year, completing several new homes in Yarralin community. As part of the Government’s housing program, the new brick houses include several duplexes which will help reduce over-crowding in community.
As thank you to community, they also provided the school with a garden for growing fruits and vegetables, along with some tools to help out.
- Road repaired
We’re happy to report that the damage done to the Buchanan Highway over the wet has mostly been repaired. Travellers should note it is a gravel road and so care should always be taken to drive to the conditions. However, with no rain for several weeks, the roads are dry and the creeks and rivers are passable. The Dashwood crossing has also been re-opened.
- Road Update – Buchanan Highway
As we near the end of the wet season, travellers are advised the road between Timber Creek and Yarralin is in rough condition. With the big wet this year, rivers in some places are backed up which means rainfall can see creeks rise quickly.
The road itself has multiple washed out areas, including some bridge damage at Surprise Creek (now repaired). Take it slowly (40 – 60km/h) – especially if you’re unfamiliar with the road – and expect to encounter puddles of water.
The road is certainly 4wd only and those travelling to Yarralin are recommended to have a good set of mud tyres. The road between Sandy Creek and Yarralin itself is quite churned up and muddy. Pick what looks like the driest path, try and avoid the deeper ruts, and you should be fine.
Sandy Creek itself has been up and down all season this year. If you do reach it and it’s too high (usually above 0.6 meters), you may wish to wait for the creek to drop before attempting crossing (although this may take a few hours, if not a day).
- Yarralin Community Store going well
AIG came out to see how our store was going today. Walangeri Ngumpinku contract AIG to manage our store. The visit included a walk-through of the store with Directors, and our new Managers Shannon and Jess, talking about the items on sale and identifying any issues.
The visit included a clothing give away and BBQ for community members and concluded with governance training held at at our local office.
- The wet season is here
For those thinking of travelling to Yarralin by road for the next few months, you may wish to call ahead to make sure you can get here. Constant rain for the last 3 days has seen the rivers rise, with Sandy Creek crossing currently at 1.1M deep and flowing steadily. Attempting to cross is not recommended.
- Samantha Campbell elected Chair at AGM
Walangeri Ngumpinku are pleased to announce Samantha Campbell has been elected as Chair at our recent AGM and Board meeting held on the 1st December, delayed by a day due to sorry business.
We congratulate Sam on her appointment and look forward to an exciting new year with all our elected Directors. John de Koning was also re-appointed as a non-Member Director, with the Board welcoming his advice and input.
Our newly elected Directors are as follows:
- Samantha Campbell (Chair)
- Selina Campbell (Deputy Chair)
- Brian Pedwell
- Brian Darby
- Colin Campbell
- Wesley Campbell
- Johnny Dan
- Sharatine Campbell
- John de Koning (non-Member Director)
We also held a meeting to discuss the creation of Kyang-Kyang Aboriginal Corporation. A subsidiary that will look after our Yarralin Community Store. The following members were elected to be the inaugural Directors of Kyang-Kyang:
- Selina Campbell (Chair)
- Johnny Dan (Deputy Chair)
- Sharatine Campbell
- Wesley Campbell
- Brian Darby
The Board are also pleased to announce that Martin Schahinger has been appointed the CEO of Kyang-Kyang. There will be a lot of work as we transition the Yarralin Community Store from Walangeri Ngumpinku and over to Kyang-Kyang, but this structure will provide us with a clear separation for accounts and other purposes.
- Ngarinyman Bush Soap returns to production
Ngarinyman Bush Soap is a local business venture started with some grant funding a few years ago. Local community harvest wild native plants and turn them into soap and other body care products. With the support of Walangeri Ngumpinku, the soap is now re-entering production.
Photos above show harvesting Dimilan and Bardigi plants,
our soap labels, and the finished soaps.
Each different variety of soap has a natural and unique colour and smell and has: No SLS, SLES, Palm Oil, and is Stearic Acid free. We’re currently working with Tanya Egerton of Circulanation about taking production to the next level.
We hope to have pricing, ordering details, and other information available soon. For now, you can follow us on Facebook.
- NLC visit town
The NLC visited community today to talk about a number of upcoming leases and section 19 applications for Yarralin.
Later that day, they joined our Board meeting to discuss the community’s interest in township leasing.
- Voting in community
It’s voting time again, with polling officials setup at our community store today.
A steady stream of voters has been going through all morning. The polling booth will be open until 1 pm, before moving onto the next remote community.
- Community Store transitions to Community Ownership
The local community store at Yarralin returned to community ownership today. From now, owned by Walangeri Ngumpinku Aboriginal Corporation, representing the Yarralin community and managed by AIG.
You can watch some of the speeches from today below.
Chair of Walangeri, Brian Pedwell talks about our community shop.
We’d like to thank everyone involved, especially Victoria Daly Regional Council and the team from AIG – Steve, Dominic, Carol, and our new Store Managers Scott and Hine, who all worked hard to make the transition happen. Not forgetting One Tree Community Services who provided the salad.
The CEO of Vic Daly, and CEO of AIG address the crowd.
- AGMP run management structure workshop in Yarralin
Laurie and Wes from the Aboriginal Government Management Program came to community today to meet the Board and help us with decisions around our management structure.
We’ve been using video conferencing during the COVID-19 lockdown, which allowed AGMP to run some workshops in April focussed on understanding financial reports.
Today was about Walangeri Ngumpinku taking over management of the community store. Laurie and Wes worked with the Board to help us understand our options and make the choice that is right for Walangeri.
We’d like to thank Laurie and Wes and the team from AGMP.
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