BNTAC have significantly expanded and diversified our work program over the last 12-18months, and this is reflected in the breadth and mix of key projects and initiatives that are either already in progress, or to be commenced during the 2020/2021 period.
This article summarises BNTAC’s current priority projects / initiatives for the upcoming 12month period – with a focus across those initiatives that we have received successful confirmation of funding for, including:
- The Bigambul 10year Economic Development & Prosperity Strategy
- The 2020 Bigambul Elders’ Gathering
- Establishment of the Bigambul NAIDOC Committee
- The Bigambul Language Preservation and Rejuvenation work program
This list only reflects projects where funding has been confirmed and does not include other planned initiatives for which decision(s) are still pending. Updates regarding progress against these key items and developments in terms of any new initiatives, will be provided routinely through our website, Facebook page, and also our new bi-monthly Newsletters, commencing from July 2020.
The following sub-headings and summaries capture and convey the scope and key objectives of those listed projects that have been confirmed.
The Bigambul 10year Economic Development & Prosperity Strategy –
The aim of this project is to develop a 10year Bigambul Economic Development & Prosperity Strategy; as a community-led and locally collaborative roadmap, to ensure a health; thriving; and sustainable Bigambul nation and community – now and into the future.
One-off funding was applied for over 12months to contribute to the Strategy’s direct scoping, research and development costs through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) – Strengthening Regional and Rural Communities funding round.
The submission was lodged in September 2019 and in early 2020 BNTAC received notification or our successful application. BNTAC are now in the process of readying to undertake steps and measures to mobilise the project and its stages.
Three, primary activity stages have been identified to undertake the project:
- Formation of a local Working Group comprising Bigambul community members that will provide the project’s local monitoring and governance structure, as well help drive the project and its stages, working in consort with the BNTAC Executive Director and engaged consultants/expertise along the way. The first meeting will be a 2day planning meeting to be held on country in Goondiwindi. The aim will be to merge priorities already identified (i.e. including through our 2019 BNTAC Youth Summit and based on outcomes of the Bigambul Young People’s Survey) with representative community feedback, to identify and confirm what priority areas will make up the 10year plan, and then further unpacking to illicit what objectives and supporting strategies will sit beneath each of these priority areas.
- Stage two involves undertaking a whole-of-community skills audit for the Bigambul nation (at individual and business levels) and including against the mapped priorities. This will result in identification of gaps and local skills areas requiring bolstering, as well as what existing skills and capability are already available in the community, to help mobilise short and longer-term strategies needed / identified.
- Stage three focuses on analysis of the local skills-audit outcomes, which will also be presented to the working group for verbal workshopping and feedback. This stage will provide the foundation of evidence and information needed to be able to effectively plan and confirm what will be the short and longer-term measures of the 10year Strategy, in order to achieve mapped objectives/targets across the identified priority areas. This will form the primary content of the Strategy. Concurrently to this, BNTAC will also be developing credentialing frameworks for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses, services and local suppliers in our determination area, as well as developing our own Social Responsibility Guidelines that include criterions for the promotion, appreciation and preservation of the Bigambul nation, culture and community. Outcomes of this will in turn also feed into the final write-up and development of the Strategy, with the final draft to be presented back to the Working Group for endorsement before publication and launch.
The 2020 Bigambul Elders’ Gathering –
Despite receiving successful funding notification from QGC Shell’s Sponsorship and Donations Program, due to COVID-19, BNTAC have been unable to proceed as of yet with the Gathering.
An EOI has been developed to progress formation of a Bigmbul Elders Advisory Group, and avenues are being explored for the future convening of the Gathering, taking into account the COVID-19 situation and key advice / recommendations at that time.
The aim of the event (when held) is to engage Bigambul Elders as part of two-days of interactive, dynamic and collaborative nation building and planning. It also aims to extend on the outcomes and momentum of the highly successful BNTAC 2019 Youth Summit, which engaged our emerging, future leaders in discussing and considering Our vision and aspirations for a thriving and sustainable Bigambul nation.
The two-day Gathering will encompass a broad range of topics and applied, interactive sessions. Indicative themes include providing an in-depth picture of BNTAC; presentation of the 2019 Bigambul Youth Summit and Young People’s Survey outcomes; and extending on the former, interactive sessions to identify Elders’ self-directed priorities, targets and aspirations for the Bigambul nation – as well as strategies to achieve this. A key focus and outcome of the 2days will also be thorough scoping of the Bigambul Elders Advisory Group and its roles, scope and functions – which will carry forward the work plan and priorities from the Gathering.
Establishment of the Bigambul NAIDOC Committee –
One-off sponsorship of $10,000 was successfully sought from QGC Shell’s Sponsorship and Donations program for the planning, coordination and delivery of annual NAIDOC celebrations and formation of a dedicated Bigambul NAIDOC Committee.
The NAIDOC theme for 2020 is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ – recognizing and celebrating the First Nations people have occupied and cared for this land for over 65,000 years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 public celebrations have been postponed now until November (8th – 15th).
BNTAC are in the process however of establishing a dedicated Bigambul NAIDOC Committee, with an EOI already prepared and set for launch on our website. The Working Group will comprise direct Bigambul descendants and Elders, with a focus on ensuring strong Elder-leadership and input as part of this year’s NAIDOC approach. The Committee will be responsible for planning, leading and delivering the annual series of public and school-based NAIDOC celebrations in Goondiwindi and surrounds. The aim of the NAIDOC celebrations is to actively support and provide positive opportunity for nation building and cultural celebration.
The Bigambul Language Preservation and Rejuvenation Work program –
In 2019, BNTAC was successful in securing funding from QGC Shell for part-one of our ongoing language preservation work program, which involves a thorough scoping and collation of existing archives and records to develop a comprehensive baseline report and record of Bigambul language. This will be the necessary foundation needed for part-two of our language preservation program; which will extend on the baseline project to develop audio visual and written resources, complemented by local artists’ works, that can be disseminated broadly. This project stage is being enabled through a successful application for funding to the Commonwealth Government through the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program last year.