Belyuen, The Viking Project

Remote Community Project Commenced 2012/On-going

Belyuen CommunityRC Darwin Belyuen project 2013 2014 015

Cox Peninsular Northern Territory

“For a long while many have been arguing that until Aborigines break the shackles of inter-generational welfare dependency, and take their rightful place in the real economy, whether in jobs or business, then we will continue to see depressing social outcomes despite efforts on other fronts. There are now enormous efforts being made on addressing the infrastructure deficits, but the effort on rebuilding the social fabric is lagging behind. Unless this is addressed the usefulness of the other work will be diminished – the investments will not realize the dividends expected”

Bob Beadman – Northern Territory Coordinator General for Remote Services Report December 2010 to May 2011

The Project

The Rotary Club of Darwin (RCD) in association with the Belyuen Community has elected to work on a community project that seeks to deliver the following outcomes:

1. Accessibility – A project in close proximity to Darwin in order that RCD members might readily contribute time and physical resources .

2. Contribution– The community, as ultimate beneficiaries, would actively participate and contribute to the project (s).

3. Quality of Life -That the project outcomes will contribute to a higher standard of living and increased self esteem for residents.

4. Employment – That the project resulted in on going sustainable employment opportunities within the community.

5. Recognition – That the Rotary Club of Darwin be recognized as the principal project sponsor.

6. Ongoing Relationships – That there be an ongoing relationship between the Rotary Club of Darwin and the identified remote community based upon trust, mutual respect and interest in future developments of that community.

 So where is Belyuen?

Belyuen is an Aboriginal community within the Delissaville Land Trust on the Cox Peninsula, approximately 18 kilometres ESE from the Darwin GPO.

Belyuen Mural on School Wall

Belyuen Mural

The community is located just off the Cox Peninsula Road approximately 14 kilometres South of the Wagait community and the Mandorah jetty.

The Belyuen population is approximately 200 people albeit this can fluctuate depending on seasonal factors. There are generally more residents in the wet and less in the dry.

So What Issues Are We Trying To Solve?

Belyuen is a prescribed area under the Northern Territory Emergency response, covering the township and the airstrip and was subject to a five year lease which expired in August 2012. The Council is currently negotiating new leases with the Northern Land Council for its assets, including the Belyuen Store.

 

Other service providers supporting the community are:

Youth of Belyuen showing the Army they are keen for change.

Belyuen Youth showing the Army their keen

• The Primary School Youth of Belyuen showing the Army they are keen for change;

• The Health Clinic;

• Ironbark – Night Patrol, CDEP and Job Service Provider;

• YMCA (in partnership with Council) – Children, Youth and Sport; and

• Yilli Rreung – Housing tenancy management and maintenance.

• Northern Land Council –NLC officer, based at Council Office Refresh of the Toilet facilities. The Belyuen community has significant alcohol and substance abuse issues, along with associated high unemployment. The population is generally itinerant with a high percentage of the community migrating to Darwin and other places on a seasonal basis.

Issue 1. – Loss of community functionality due to substance abuse.

Issue 2. – Seasonal migration to Darwin Metropolitan and surrounding districts.

Issue 3. – Low Employment Opportunities within the Belyuen Community.

The Belyuen Community Government Council has very limited resources to develop the community into the future. The Council has been under management since May 2007 and (along with Wagait, Coomalie and unincorporated areas such as Dundee and Marrakai) is subject to ongoing considerations for local government reform.

The major challenge facing the community is to improve the social fabric, and in particular, the creation of sustainable employment opportunities.

There are a number of areas where an increase in revenue would assist Council in generating real jobs and thereby increasing the economic capacity within the community. Increased jobs and skills would also position Belyuen to take advantage of the eventual sign-off of the Kenbi Land Claim and local government reform on the Peninsula.

The Council has recently obtained MVR accreditation for its Workshop to conduct motor vehicle inspections which will increase own source revenue at the Workshop. It is the only accredited MVR inspection service on the Cox Peninsula.

In December 2010, Council took over the community store following the collapse of the local store association. The challenge for Council is to build up the business to improve services for local people, and to also attract outside passing trade.

These initiatives will provide job opportunities within the community as they are developed and implemented.

Moving people from welfare to work is critical to building the social fabric of the community and indeed the Territory as a whole.

So What Are We Going To Do?

The fist step has already been taken by the RCD. The Belyuen Store internal shelving has been upgraded after 25 years. This initiative was undertaken by members of the RCD and the local community. The project seeks to turn the Belyuen Store into the predominant regional shop for the district and passing trade. In order to do this, we need to improve and upgrade the following inWorking party painting the cement entrance.frastructure and amenities.

• An all weather Fueling Station – Upgrade and cover existing equipment.RC Darwin Belyuen project 2013 2014 030

• Functioning Restrooms – Rebuild and provide all weather access. (Completed Nov 13)

• New shop counters. (Completed)

• Road signage highlighting access and services. (Completed)

• All weather access to Community Store.

• Re generate postal services.

• Provide a community monument on approach to the store.RC Darwin Belyuen project 2013 2014 052

• Provide for display of local arts and crafts.

How Much Will It Cost?

The RCD has received independent costs to cover this work. This amounts to some A$127,000 which does not include physical contribution by RCD members. The RCD has itself elected to contribute A$30,000 toward this worthy community project. It is proposed that RCD members would manage the project and provide expertise to assist skills development of local labour. Furthermore it is proposed that local assistance be paid for this work upon acceptance by the builder.

How or What Can We Do To Help ?

We seek corporate monetary donations or appropriate goods and services to assist us to complete this work in the 2014 dry season.

What Do We Get For It?Belyuen Kids 2

The Belyuen Community and RCD will recognise every corporate donation and private donation above A$10,000. This will be by way of an enduring plaque prominently displayed outside the Community Store.

Corporate Contributors will also have an option of company brand recognition on the store and approaches.

Who Do I Contact?

Rotary Club Project Director – Mr Peter Hopton (0439 898 224)

For further advice on how you may assist or make Donations.

 

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