Saturday, June 19, 2010


Balkanu is one of the Cape York regional organisations that work together with their sister organisations to drive the Cape York Agenda in order to attempt to achieve social and economic reform and real self-determination in an Indigenous region in Australia.

I have been seconded to the Balkanu business unit "Caring for Country" to work with the Ranger services.

A little over a year ago, Balkanu and their partner Land Trusts successfully applied for Working on Country funding (Dept of Environment, Water Heritage and Arts) to deliver ranger services for these four areas of Cape York.
The four partner Groups are the Yuku-Baja-Muliku people, whose homelands are just south of Cooktown at Archer Point, Kuku Nyungkal, who country is North of Wujal Wujal, the Toolka Land Trust (Kaandju people) who country is north of Coen around Mt Croll and the Lama Lama people, who homelands are on Running Creek and near Port Stewart. 

The Ranger Services are keen to get more organised, build internal governance and compliance, including OH&S, develop systems to administer and report on funding, and look at ways to economically develop the country and provide financial returns and jobs for their people. 

I have three objectives as part of my secondment over the next few weeks-
1.   Conduct complete audits (including site audits, equipment audits and policy and procedures audit) of the current Occupational Health and Safety status for each Ranger Services
2.   Deliver an overview presentation on Occupational Health and Safety to each of the Ranger services
3.   Provide administrative and governance advice/guidance, identifying issues that need further resources, develop new and improve existing policies and procedures in relation to Occupational Health and Safety legislative requirements.

This last week was spent in the Balkanu offices getting upto speed on my project brief and objectives. I worked with the project manager to commence a process of assisting each Ranger Services group to review their occupational health and safety policies and procedures. Over the next two weeks, I will be travelling to the Cooktown and Coen to do the onsite OH&S audits and deliver the  presentation on OH&S to the the different Ranger Services and Balkanu remote offices. While in Cooktown, I will also get the opportunity to attend a Ranger conference that is running over 4 days.

Check back frequently to find out more on the work I am doing ...

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