Meet the Aboriginal Women Kicking Goals in Their Top End Communities

Aussie Rules has long been the sport of Aboriginal Australia. But women’s place has been on the sidelines, cheering men along at local games.

Now, East Arnhem Land women have set up a competition with teams from local Aboriginal communities because they want to be involved in the action.

aboriginal women kicking football goals

Photo: article supplied

“Footy is awesome, it’s an awesome support … we’re as good as the men, even better,” Yirrkala teenager Mikayla Mununggurr said.

Whitney Yunupingu’s whole family plays football and she grew up with the sport around her in Nhulunbuy.

“My dad used to play AFL, my mum plays, my brother plays, it goes through my family,” she said.

Scores of young women from the region gather on the Yirrkala football field every Thursday night and play ‘scratch matches’, and will start an official competition this month.

“There’s always been an interest among women and the majority of the supporters who come down to watch footy are women,” coordinator Araluen Maymaru said.

Four teams from Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala and Ski Beach are playing in the competition.

“We’re making new friends, getting to know people you don’t usually talk to or see around, being able to communicate with people who aren’t as open, so as girls we can have an AFL family,” Mununggurr said.

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          Published on
June 23, 2017

The Key to Developing Northern Australia

The Northern Territory is leading the way for the development of Northern Australia and unlocking the regions potential.

Luke Bowen, General Manager of Northern Australia Development and Trade, spoke about Northern Australia and its capacity to support a more prosperous and secure Australia at the Developing Northern Australia Conference in Cairns.

The Northern Territory Government is focused on unlocking the potential of Northern Australia through investment, trade, business and economic opportunities.

Aboriginal Territorians comprise over 30% of our population and are an important part of the development of Northern Australia and the economic future of the Territory.

The Territory has an abundance of natural resources, a large mining and energy industry and major construction and infrastructure projects underway.

Due to our close proximity to Asia we are well positioned to continue to attract world class major projects and investment.

This conference is an important part of keeping the conversation on Northern Australia front and centre and maintaining the focus on the North’s future in the board rooms, Cabinet rooms and in the public arena across Australia.

Tracey Hayes, CEO of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) was also a keynote speaker at this year’s conference.

“The cattle industry is a shining example of the present opportunities that exist in Northern Australia. The industry in the NT alone has grown its contribution to almost $1 billion in annual value of production.

“The development of Northern Australia is not just about building the NT economy; it is about unlocking the limitless potential right across the northern half of our great continent for the benefit of all Australians.”

“For this reason, the NTCA is dedicated to supporting the Northern Australia agenda, and is confident that with continued support from all stakeholders, this great region of the world can become an integral part of supply chains to our Asian neighbours and beyond.”

Click here to learn more about opportunities in the Northern Territory.


          Published on
June 20, 2017

Cairns: Australia’s Lifestylepreneur Capital

Cairns is a key economic hub in northern Australia.  The city’s proximity and connectedness to all major Australian and Asian cities makes it ideally positioned for doing business nationally and globally.

The city’s business community has a strong spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation, and Cairns is emerging as fertile ground for new ventures. It has some 13,000 locally-owned businesses and one start-up for every 5300 residents – a higher per capita rate than South East Queensland.Cairns regional council

In his recent report for NBN Business, The Cairns lifestylepreneur movement, leading Australian demographer Bernard Salt observed that “Cairns and FNQ have not just a rich heritage of small business activity but a remarkably resilient SME culture as well… proudly independent Cairns is doing it better than most.”

Cairns is indeed a city that punches above its weight when it comes to the small and medium business sector.

Local businesses exhibit unique, world-class and award-winning capabilities in fields as diverse as vehicle and construction technologies to tourism experiences, online apps to food manufacturing and healthcare solutions.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning is proud of Council’s strong commitment to fostering entrepreneurial spirit.

“We initiated the Tropical North Queensland Innovation Awards to celebrate those who pursue new ideas and processes,” he said.

“The awards provide a forum for local entrepreneurs to promote their products, concepts and strength in innovation to potential investors, business partners and consumers.”

Cairns is also leading the rise of the “lifestylepreneur” and the “e-change” – two phrases coined by Salt to describe the rapidly changing face of small business, particularly in desirable lifestyle-oriented regional centres.

For northern Australian communities like Cairns, business growth is increasingly being driven by lifestyle desires and enabled by new technologies.  Entrepreneurs are reaping the benefits of being able to choose a world-class lifestyle location without sacrificing the needs of their business.

Northern Australia’s vast expanses are no longer a barrier to entrepreneurs being able to re-invent, revolutionise, renew and succeed.

Cairns Regional Council is currently attending the 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference. 

Follow #DEVNTH on Twitter to keep up to date with conference news, photos and insights. 

          Published on
June 19, 2017

Building Collaboration in Biosecurity Innovation Systems

Professor Cathy Robinson, Research Director/ Principal Research Scientist for CSIRO-CDU is attending this year’s event, discussing “Building collaboration in biosecurity innovation systems”.

Cathy Robinson

Biosecurity is often conceptualised and managed as an issue of biological risk. However turning the focus to how to build collaboration between stakeholders can shed new light on why and how biosecurity surveillance programs can be successful-or not.

In this presentation I’ll draw on a 3 year program of work which has engaged industry and remote community partners across Northern Australia to outline how collaboration can help build biosecurity innovation systems. This can be done by supporting a total system health approach to negotiate the evidence base used to inform biosecurity risk assessments and management responses.

Attention to partnership design to underpin innovative partnerships is also key to utilise diverse social and policy networks to translate available knowledge into context appropriate biosecurity action.

          Published on
June 14, 2017

Northern Regional Development Australia Alliance – Collaboration Delivers

Join us at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel on the 19th-20th June for the Developing Northern Australia Conference.

Professor Allan Dale, Chair of RDA FNQ&TS will be attending this year’s conference to discuss “Northern Regional Development Australia Alliance – collaboration delivers”.

The Northern Regional Development Australia Alliance (NRDAA) is a collective of eight RDA’s whose regions make up the footprint of Northern Australia.

Allan Dale

The need for more effective consultation and collaboration across Northern Australia has been acknowledged in recent years.  It was highlighted, for example, by the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce in their 2010 report:

The north has a wealth of opportunities. However, strong leadership and strategic focus on the region, east to west, is required to build a shared vision and establish a national path for development that is genuinely sustainable.

As a representative and advisory body which covers the whole of Northern Australia, we believe that NRDAA is unique.

The Alliance was initiated to achieve two principle objectives.  The members of the Alliance, in partnership with government and informed by extensive regional networks, provide cross-regional and cross-sectoral input into government policy development and implementation.

The Alliance also undertakes cross-regional projects to drive Northern Australian development.  The potential benefits have already been demonstrated through several NRDAA supported projects.

A cohesive cross-regional approach simplifies and strengthens progress against key Northern Australian economic development outcomes.  The benefits to be gained include:

  • Eight RDA’s, each with established and extensive regional networks, operating collaboratively;
  • A long-term and unified approach;
  • A platform for aligned and coordinated capital investment; and
  • Delivery of economic, social and environmental benefits to regional communities across the north, and in turn to the national econom

Addressing the challenges of developing Northern Australia goes beyond the scope of any single stakeholder; collaboration and community engagement is critical to realising the future potential of the region.

NRDAA works across the three tiers of government and regional NGOs to minimise duplication and maximise regional development outcomes.  No other Northern Australian collective can demonstrate a network as diverse and robust as the NRDAA.

          Published on
June 13, 2017