The Dambimangari people are committed to building a successful and sustainable future for their families and communities by taking an active role in educating young people, at the same time engaging in projects associated with sustainable and culturally consistent development in the West Kimberley region. The platform for a successful economic future is based on six major programs –
The development of Aboriginal enterprises to participate in the economic development of the Kimberley region
Effective training and employment opportunities for Dambimangari people
Involvement in scientific research and conservation of the unique Kimberley environment
Expansion of the bourgeoning tourism industry – including ocean cruise visits
Promotion of Dambimangari art and culture
Support of the social wellbeing of the communities
The programs are underpinned by a determination to create opportunities for traditional owners and their families to return to country and ensure a strong future for future generations.
A framework for Development
Dambimangari business is built on a philosophy of transparency, accountability and sound prudential management of the community’s earnings.
The Corporation has developed policies designed to support the growth of community assets and the distribution of community benefits.
Priorities include –
Establishment and operation of Aboriginal enterprises
Joint venture agreements
Risk assessment and management
Reporting to the community
Distribution of funds in the community corporation
Training and employment and
Support for enterprises or activities likely to benefit the community
A key element of all business activities undertaken by the Dambimangari people is an underlying respect for Dambimangari heritage and culture.
In this context, the Corporation is focused on development of projects in Dambimangari country. The priorities will be businesses or contracts employing Dambimangari people, joint ventures with low risk profiles and sound returns, tourism, scientific or education projects and environmental management initiatives in the parks and reserves under Dambimangari control.
The corporation has already established a sound relationship with the business sector, working with miner Mount Gibson Iron at Koolan Island and investigating new enterprises with the company under an Indigenous Land Use Agreement.
DAC has also established a successful ranger contracting service which operates under agreements with mining companies, research institutions and organisations like the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation operates under a series of trust agreements which determine the way the community income is invested and distributed.
Dambimangari affairs are overseen by ten directors who are members of an Advisory Trust Board and the Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation.
Representatives of the Dambimangari community are bound by the principles of good governance.
Common income and assets must be managed in the interests of the registered traditional owners and beneficiaries identified in the Dambimangari Native Title Determination of 2011 – and articulated in the Trust Deed.
The decision-making bodies are obliged to respect the rights of all stakeholders and help the Dambimangari people to exercise their rights through open and transparent communication – including encouragement for beneficiaries to attend general meetings.
Boards which have been established to administer various investment and community support programs are required to act honestly, ethically and equitably in all their dealings with stakeholders.
Executive and non-executive leaders abide by Australian laws – and respect the traditional laws and culture of the Dambimangari People.
The directors must ensure that they have access to appropriate information and expertise to make sound decisions and judgments.
They set appropriate public and accountable policies to meet community priorities – and they will ensure that these policies are applied to the decisions and management of Dambimangari affairs.
The Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation Board and management are required to meet the disclosure and operating standards of the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.
The economic development program will take advantage of the natural assets of Dambimangari country in the West Kimberley region. These include tourist attractions, cultural and heritage icons such as rock art and heritage structures, seafood projects and ranger services, mineral resources regional petroleum development and marine and national parks. DAC has introduced a visitors’ pass system to ensure protection of culture and support funding for the Dambimangari Ranger Program.
Dambimangari Traditional Owners also operate independent tourism ventures that are available to escort visitors to important sites in Dambimangari country.