CDU agreement cements future for Nhulunbuy's Homelands 

(l-r) Ric Norton Laynhapuy, Resources and Training manager, Tim Hamilton, Laynhapuy CEO, Djambawa Marawili, Director of Laynhapuy and Traditional Owner Barayuwa Mununggurr, Chairman of Laynhapuy with CDU's Don Zoellner, Paul Fitzsimons and Bronte Cooper

Charles Darwin University has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Laynhapuy Homelands Association of Nhulunbuy to deliver training to the 800 Yolngu people it represents.

Paul Fitzsimons, Director of Remote Coordination, said the signing was a turning point for the delivery of remote education in the Territory.

‘We’re actually asking people to develop a training plan that they want,’ he said. ‘It’s about finding key leaders in the community, identifying economic opportunities and delivering the right skills training.’

The MOA also provides the association with leverage to lobby Government for the funding of four key training facilities, equipped with broadband internet, accommodation for visiting lecturers – located at key sites around Nhulunbuy.

It was signed in the presence of community elders, representatives of the association and CDU at the community of Wandaway, south of Gove.

Don Zoellner, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Community and Access, said the MOA prepared communities for changes in governance.

‘With the Government wanting training tied to economic outcomes, our audits are preparing communities to take advantage of that,’ he said. ‘We understand each community has different needs.’

Djambawa Marawili, Director of Laynhapuy Homelands Association said: ‘If this training provides our people with good jobs, it will be a pathway for our kids. We want them to have quality education, to learn, study, and even go to university.’

Vocational courses offered will include business, local government, health, community services and horticulture – each with literacy and numeracy support.