Mowanjum wins 2016 Premier's Award

Mowanjum wins 2016 Premier's Award

Mowanjum wins 2016 Premier's Award

8/11/2016 Water for Food’s Mowanjum Irrigation Trial has been recognised for excellence in the 2016 Premier’s Awards.

The project received the award in the category Improving Aboriginal Outcomes and was then selected as the Overall Winner, beating 18 other finalists.

Department of Water Director General Mike Rowe accepted the award, congratulating the Water for Food team and the Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

“The Mowanjum Irrigation Trial showcases the change that is possible when a community’s vision and investment is matched with expert water science and industry know-how,” Mr Rowe said.

“This recognition speaks to the commitment and passion of the community’s leaders and the work of the Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation, its Board and the Water for Food project team.

“I look forward to seeing Mowanjum station continue to grow and open up opportunities for the Mowanjum people and the West Kimberley community.

“The Department of Water is proud to support this partnership through the Water for Food program, made possible by the Royalties for Regions initiative.”

Pic L-R: Hon. Mia Davies MLA, Steve Austin, Ashton Lockyer, Mark Laylay, Mike Rowe, Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, Charles Numandumah, Eddie Bear, Simon Skevington.

Representatives of the Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation attended the presentation ceremony, including Director Mr Eddie Bear and Mowanjum station trainees, Mark Laylay and Ashton Lockyer.

CEO Steve Austin and Board Chairman Charles Numandumah also addressed guests during the presentation ceremony, noting just how much Mowanjum had achieved thanks to thriving partnerships and a strong community drive.

Reflecting on the win, Water for Food Strategic Project Manager Rob Cossart said the trial, at the Mowanjum Aboriginal Pastoral Station, near Derby, is now in its second year and is providing positive social, economic and environmental benefits for Aboriginal communities.

“The role that Mowanjum as a community is playing, to innovate and lift beef production, support tenure reform, identify investment opportunities and partners, highlights many useful lessons as the pastoral industry diversifies into irrigation.

“Mowanjum has partnered with leading industry organisation such as Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Giovi Agriculture, CSIRO and Global Groundwater to undertake a detailed research program on the economics and agronomics of ‘stand and graze’ which will be of value to the industry as a whole.

“The irrigation trial is transforming the local community through business, training and workforce development opportunities, with the appointment of traineeships to two Derby men.”

One of these trainees, Ashton Lockyer, said the traineeship is helping him develop real world skills that are valued by the industry.

“Six months ago I didn’t imagine I would have this opportunity to be working at Mowanjum Station,” Mr Lockyer said.

“The pastoral and irrigation industry in the Kimberley and Pilbara is only getting bigger and more stations are getting into irrigation.”

“Developing these skills will enable me to have a range of employment options in the years to come.”