The Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board is made up of nine Aboriginal voting members, selected by the Minister for their experience, connections to country or expertise in relation to NRM in an Aboriginal region. The board members include a Presiding Member with functions similar to a Chairperson. Currently, the Alinytjara Wilurara NRM Board is the only NRM board in Australia with wholly Aboriginal membership.
The board consists of community representatives who have an interest and/or expertise in natural resource management and indigenous issues.
Having a wholly Aboriginal board with this responsibility is important as the Aboriginal perspective of natural resource management is unique. The Aboriginal approach to caring for country has always been integrated and holistic. The board is unique in that it can advise on NRM-related issues affecting the communities and culture of the region. They can also support effective ways of communicating and working in partnership with organisations, agencies, communities, traditional owners, elders and individuals for mutual benefit ‘ngapartji ngapartji’.
The board sees effective and long-term communication with communities being a priority task for them. For successful NRM in this region, engagement with communities is essential. This achieves close involvement and partnerships with communities in caring for their country and working together to lessen the region’s environmental problems. The board also has a role in building awareness in individuals, communities, non-government organisations, state and federal agencies about the region, the challenges and opportunities for NRM in the region and the current programs and projects.
Parry Agius has been appointed by the Minister as the Presiding Member of AW NRM Board since February 2011. He is currently the Executive Officer of the Native Title Unit. The Native Title Unit is a division of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, and is the Native Title Representative Body for South Australia. Parry has also been involved in other boards including; National Native Title Forums, the Premier's Round Table on Sustainability, South Australian Economic Board and South Australian Fishing Industry Council just to name a few. Parry has had a lifetime's experience dealing with Aboriginal issues, coming from a family involved in caring for and protecting Aboriginal rights. Parry is also currently the new chair of the South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council.
Maureen Smart, known by her Anangu name, Mima was born at Penong near the coast in 1956. After Mima was born she moved with her parents to Yalata and that is where she grew up. Mima currently works in Yalata as an Aboriginal Education worker at the school. Mima has been the Chair person at the school for two years. Mima is very happy to have been appointed to sit on the AW NRM Board and looks forward to the knowledge she can both provide and gain from this experience.
New Member (TBA)
State Government Agency Representatives:
Heidi Crow is the Principal Heritage Officer of the Heritage Conservation Team DPC and is the Department of Premier and Cabinet representative on the AW NRM Board. She has an Archaeologydegree and has working in Cultural Heritage Management for 11 years. “NRM is about looking after the environment and acknowledging and strengthening peoples understanding of the links between managing natural heritage and managing cultural heritage”.
Ian has been working for PIRSA for 25 years following completion of a degree in Natural Resource Management. Significant experience relevant to NRM for the region has come from positions within PIRSA including Animal and Plant Control Officer, Livestock Adviser, Landcare Officer, Environmental Adviser and his current role as Program Co-coordinator for PIRSA Minerals and Energy Resources for the Musgrave Ranges (APY Lands). Ian also has considerable experience in community liaison (most recently with indigenous communities) and has moderate skills in Pitjantjatjara language and cultural aspects. Ian is familiar with the indigenous communities and environments within the AW NRM Board area and has established good working relationships within the region.