Action research in the bush: The story of the Wiluna Regional Partnership Agreement Martu Attitudinal Survey and how one mining company responded

Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Prof Maggie Walter
Regina Newland
Stacey Pettersen
Dr Paula Joyce

The Wiluna Regional Partnership Agreement (WRPA) was formed under an MOU between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Government. The focus is on Aboriginal employability, real jobs, training and enterprise development in the Wiluna region. 

In 2013 the local Aboriginal community of Wiluna establish a representative group of Martu families – the Muntjiltjarra Wurrgumu Group (MWG) – to build the voice of Martu people and to partner the WRPA. 

NWG members conducted a significant household survey of youth and adults to document their aspirations for employment and training and the barriers that stop people taking up jobs and setting up business. The survey was designed, tested, analysed and undertaken by Martu to ensure community participation, ownership and skills development. 

This presentation will tell the story of a community development approach to the research project and show how the NWG developed leadership in undertaking the survey. It will outline the process and key findings of the survey.

We will present a case study of a mining company in the regional, Rosslyn Hill, that responded to the survey finds and set up an innovative pilot employment project that approaches employing Aboriginal people from Wiluna in a proactive and , strategic way.