Shire and NBY sign historic Memorandum of Understanding

Published on 07 June 2023

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Reconciliation Week 2023 was a special one for Broome with the Shire and Nyamba Buru Yawuru signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, June 1 at the Jiljirrgun Town Beach Night Market.

The MoU, signed by Broome Shire President Desiree Male, Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) Chair Clinton Benjamin, Shire CEO Sam Mastrolembo and NBY CEO Nini Mills in front of dozens of onlookers, recognises how a productive relationship would have mutual benefits for both parties and would promote the delivery of shared values for future generations.

It followed the Interim Agreement signed by the Shire and Rubibi representatives on May 1, 1996, which was the first of its kind for a local government in Australia.

This agreement was later the recipient of an Australian Reconciliation Award as a National Finalist, presented by the Aboriginal Reconciliation chairperson and then Federal Senator, Pat Dodson.

In 2006, the Yawuru people’s native title was formally recognised with the granting of their determination. Following this, they successfully negotiated an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the State of Western Australia, to which the Shire was a signatory.

The Shire and NBY had since built a successful working relationship that involved sharing ideas and discussing projects between multiple levels of the two organisations, resulting in a mutual desire to formalise this working relationship with an MoU.

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Cr Male said Reconciliation Week 2023’s theme, ‘Be a voice for generations’ was fitting for the signing of the MoU, which is designed to bolster the links between the Shire and NBY for many years to come.

“The MoU seeks to provide a framework for an ongoing successful relationship between the two organisations and is intended to ensure that changes in leadership do not affect this.”

Mr Benjamin said the signing of our MoU aims to confirm NBY’s commitment to an ongoing relationship with the Shire that’s founded in mutual respect and our shared commitment to the Broome Community.

“The Shire of Broome’s vision is ‘a future, for everyone’. Yawuru’s mission is to strengthen Mabu Liyan (strong spirit, good feeling and positive wellbeing) for all, always. Together, we aspire to creating an inclusive Broome community that enhances the strength, empowerment, and wellbeing of all community members,” he said.

“Our shared values ground both of our organisations in our commitment to collaboration so that we can jointly derive tangible outcomes for our community.

“Just as important as having a voice is listening, and the MOU will support both the Shire and NBY to listen to and respect each other’s decision-making processes to ensure we have a productive working relationship that will ultimately benefit the whole community in Broome.

Cr Male and Mr Benjamin acknowledged the dedication of former Shire President Harold Tracey and the efforts the Shire and NBY CEOs and previous Shire and NBY leaders who had worked hard to strengthen the relationship between the two organisations.

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