From the CEO’s Desk

Dear Members,

As you would be aware, the Annual General Meeting of the Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (NNTAC} was held at the Norseman Town Hall on Thursday, 23rd November 2017 and was attended by 110 Ngadju members, NNTAC staff and other invited representatives.
At the meeting, I highlighted several major milestones that we have achieved in the 2017 calendar year, including:

  • Receipt of full Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) status making us a not-for-profit charity;
  • Establishing a corporate office for the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC} in Perth with a satellite office being planned for Norseman;
  • Development and adoption of a Strategic Plan for the 2017-2020 period, which includes 23 strategic initiatives that will be prioritised annually and achieved as funds become available; Design and roll-out of a new Benefits Management Structure (BMS) that is made up of a new Charitable Trust and Direct Benefits Trust;
  • Design and creation of a· new logo and professional image for the Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation;
  • Establishment of a Risk Management Plan;
  • Establishment of Corporate Governance Principles;
  • Issue of a “fully compliant” financial audit for the 2016-2017 period
  • Fully compliant with ORIC;
  • Design and distribution of a quarterly newsletter for members;
  • Design and construction of a new website –www.nntac.org.au;
  • New native title and heritage agreements being developed and negotiated on an ongoing basis with miners and explorers, including contacting the 200 plus proponents on Ngadju country to get them to make improved agreements; and
  • Seeking to make agreements with the State Government and its agencies and the Shire of Dundas, including to make management arrangements about the nature reserves and national parks within Ngadju country; and
  • Developing best practice heritage surveys and reports.

At the AGM, members passed the new Benefits Management Structure (BMS) which will likely see in excess of $750,000 per annum allocated towards 14 policy areas including an Education & Scholarship Program, Elders Assistance, Emergency Medical Accommodation, Funeral Program, Health & Medical Program, Sports Program and Special Needs Assistance.
All members should provide their personal details, including their address, bank account and tax file number details to the PBC for it to collate and pass on to the Trustee. Members are requested to complete these details and return the forms to ngadju.trust@nntac.org.au or fax 08 9226 2991 or post to GPO Box 2710 Cloisters Square, WA 6850. Forms must be returned to NNTAC by 28 December  2017 so they can be processed by the Trust. Members are reminded it is illegal for the Body Corporate to make any payments / reimbursements direct to Members.

All BMS payments / reimbursements can only be made by the new Trustee under the new Trustee Deed, in accordance with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) regulations which was approved by members at the AGM. Some minor changes need to be made to the Trustee Deed which will result in payments being available as soon as the Trust Deeds are finalised. The relevant BMS and Personal Detail Forms can be found on the Ngadju website at www.nntac.org.au. I have also included a form with this letter for your convenience.

When the new Trust is formally in place, all forms associated with each approved Policy will be available to download from our website.

In a significant move, members also approved the NNTAC Board to arrange through consultation the formalisation of Ngadju Elders Council during the first three months of 2018. This will include considering its roles and terms of reference within the NNTAC. The experience and cultural expertise of the Elders will be an important guide to the NNTAC and Ngadju people moving forward.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year for all Ngadju people. We look forward to working forward together into 2018 and beyond.

Yours sincerely.

Paul Stenson
Chief Executive Officer

Ngadju Telegraph – Issue 1 – Spring Edition 2017

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Traditional owners, the Ngadju people, have a responsibility to care for their country

Heritage and Culture

 

The traditional owners of the land, the Ngadju people, have a responsibility to care for their country and to preserve their significant heritage and culture under the Native Title Act. The Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (NNTAC) is the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) that is responsible for upholding and managing these objectives, and acts as the legal entity which conducts the affairs of the Ngadju Native Title Holders.

The PBC liaises and negotiates agreements with all government departments, mining companies, explorers, local government, property developers and various businesses that may want to conduct activity on Ngadju land. This process involves the engagement of the PBC Board of Directors who represent the various family groups for the negotiation process. Any agreement that would significantly impact on Native Title Rights (such as extinguishment) must be taken to the full Ngadju community for ratification.

These agreements must ensure that Ngadju Native Title Rights, Heritage, Culture and Environment rights are protected while accommodating the rights of tenement holders and stakeholders on Ngadju country.

For anyone intending to conduct any activity on Ngadju Land, you must contact the PBC at its Perth office so the necessary arrangements can be actioned.  These actions include heritage surveys (including anthropological, ethnographical and archaeological) which must comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act (WA).

Future Acts

The Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation provides legal representation to the Board of Directors and Ngadju community on Future Act Matters as necessary.

A Future Act is a term used in the Native Title Act 1993 to describe a proposed activity that may affect Native Title. Future Acts give the Ngadju Directors and broader community the right to be informed and consulted about development activities that may impact Ngadju country.

It is essential that any agency, company or individual contact the PBC if any of their proposed developments involve ground breaking disturbances.  As a courtesy, anyone wanting to carry out any function on country must advise the PBC.

Heritage Protocols

Heritage is one of the many functions provided by the PBC. We are regularly advising mining and government bodies on set procedures for managing heritage compliance across Ngadju country.

If for any reason the PBC was not engaged and a section 18 (application to disturb an Aboriginal Site) is applied for, the ACMC may not approve the application.

Heritage Survey Methodology

There are numerous Heritage Survey Methodologies that can be designed specifically for any particular purpose.

Importantly at the outset, Costs Agreements and methodologies need to be determined early to ensure that they are cost effective and efficient.

Methodologies include:

  1. Desktop Survey

  2. Work Program Clearance Survey

  3. Work Area Clearance Survey

  4. Site Avoidance Survey

  5. Site Identification Survey

  6. Cultural Significance Survey

  7. Biodiversity Survey

  8. A comprehensive heritage survey would include anthropological, ethnographical and archaeological components which must comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act (WA).