Elder Cherry Daniels was laid to rest today in a ceremony attended by many from the region.
Cherry was born and raised in Ngukurr. As a child, her elders would take her out bush with them to practice their traditional ways. This was back in the missionary days when people tried to stop community passing on culture. Even speaking traditional language was banned at the School back in her time.
This didn’t stop Cherry. For her, “our leaders were strong. They didn’t let white people stop us from having our ceremonies. It is our identity.”
She was one of the few Ngandi speakers. It was important to her to pass this knowledge on so that it wasn’t lost. That’s why she worked for many years with the language centre and school, helping her mob regain their knowledge and pride in language and culture.
Back under the old CDEP program, Cherry started the rangers which became the Yugul Mangi Rangers. She worked with that mob, teaching the kids our traditional ways. She’d go out bush and teach what she knew.
She was very strong with culture and knew how important it was to pass on knowledge. She helped write books and did a lot of good work for our community.
It will be important to her that we remember our ways and where we’re from. We need to know our language and culture, so we can protect country. She was also very strong on ‘both ways’ education so our mob can succeed in both worlds.
The Government knew how important this was – which is why they gave her an Order of Australia Medal. This was in recognition of her service to her ways and her people.
Cherry dedicated her life to the advancement of our community and she will be sorely missed.
The Strongbala Pipul Wanbala Bois Komiti held a 3-day workshop for the Stronger Communities Program in Ngukurr. They discussed the results of the Community Engagement Study they conducted last year and talked about all the things community members wanted to see happening in Ngukurr.
Community had a strong interest in language education at the school in both Kriol and traditional languages, with financial counselling and other potential activities discussed.
In May, they meet again to go through their budget and assign funding to each of the activities they would like to under-take as part of the Community Plan. We expect to see a lot of great things happening in Ngukurr as a result over the coming 18 months.
Long awaited rains for the wet season have finally arrived in Ngukurr, with solid downpours of around 2 inches every day / night for the last 4 days. As a result, the dirt road in is wet and slippery.
Water is still well below the bridges so access is possible, but travellers are advised to be in a 4WD, with recovery equipment in the event they get bogged. Be advised you will be slipping and sliding through mud – especially on the worst spot of the road which is between the bridges over the Wilton and Roper Rivers. Driving at night is only recommended if you have spotlights as mud will splash and cover your headlights. Also be aware of animals on the road.
We converted one of our old Barges into a 24 seater boat for tourists. The surveyor came out today to do the final checks, with a stability test in the water. With 25 volunteers from community, we put the boat in the water and headed out for a stability test. Thankfully, all went well and nobody fell in.
We look forward to running the boat for our tourists who will be visiting in the dry season from May. Thanks to Daniel Keil of Keil Maritime who conducted the survey.
Yugul Mangi Development has been successful in winning the CDP program tender for the Ngukurr / Urapunga area. Our CDP partners from IEN and ITEC came to community to discuss the process, what was involved in the transition of CDP to Yugul Mangi, and what it would mean for community.
Our Board are looking forward to running CDP in Ngukurr, as it will provide an opportunity to do the programs, activities, and training opportunities that community want to see within our region.
Austin and James from Meertens Chartered Accountants met with members of our Board of Directors today as part of their ORIC Examination of Yugul Mangi Development. ORIC regularly review Aboriginal Corporations registered under the CATSI Act and this year it was our turn.
They advised the Board they were happy with the way Yugul Mangi was operating but they did have some advice on areas that need some extra attention. The Board were very pleased with the discussion.
Our new Store Managers, Tony and Leanne, arrived in community today. We held a meeting at the store to give a chance for everyone to meet the new Managers and get to know them a bit before they begin working.
The staff look forward to working with Tony & Leanne and hope they get along well with our community.