MG Corporation supports evidence-based social and community development projects that generate positive social and economic outcomes for MG people.

MG Corporation’s primary strategic focus remains on economic development. MG Corporation recognises that the short-term imperative of economic independence must be met before the longer-term social aspirations of the MG community can be met. While MG Corporation is currently prioritising economic development activities, MG Corporation supports evidence-based social and community development projects to maximise social and economic outcomes for MG people, particularly in the areas of education, employment and representation.

As part of an integrated community development approach, MG Corporation engages with other Aboriginal organisations and key stakeholders for the benefit of MG people and the East Kimberley community more broadly.

The MG Community Foundation Trust (CFT) is a charitable trust established to provide assistance to MG people for education, community development, promotion of art, law and culture, the relief of poverty, disadvantage, sickness or affliction and for the protection of the natural environment. Under the OFA, the CFT received funding from the State Government up until June 2015.

The CFT operates under strict rules and guidelines that were agreed between the State Government and MG people under the OFA. Within these strict rules and guidelines, CFT directors are responsible for managing funds for current and future generations of MG people, including with respect to deciding whether to distribute funds annually to the 16 Dawang groups.

In addition to distributions to Dawang groups for charitable objectives, the CFT supports the practice of law and culture by MG people by providing contributions towards the practice of men’s, women’s and whaling activities. Over the life of the trust, significant contributions have been provided in support of the practice of MG law and culture.

The CFT has also provided support to the GY Women’s Refuge (Gawooleng Yawoodeng Aboriginal Corporation) by providing funding to support its activities with respect to the rehabilitation of victims of family violence.

Consistent with the MG Group’s strategic focus on economic development, CFT directors are currently considering ways in which to prudently invest income from the CFT to generate a sustainable source of income for current and future generations of MG people.

Established in 2006 under the OFA, the Ord Enhancement Scheme (OES) was a State Government program administered in partnership with MG traditional owners.  With leverage funding of $11.195 million, the purpose of the OES was to address the recommendations of the Aboriginal Social and Economic Impact Assessment Report prepared by the Kimberley Land Council in 2004 and issues arising as a result of the creation of Lake Argyle.

Since its inception, approximately $10 million in funding has been allocated to various Aboriginal and non-government organisations to deliver programs for the social and economic development of MG people, including in relation to health and well being, housing and infrastructure, education, training and employment, environmental and land management, family and community services, justice and community safety and culture and heritage. The following organisations received funding through the OES:

  • Wunan Foundation
  • St Joseph’s Catholic School
  • Kununurra District High School
  • Gawooleng Yawoodeng Aboriginal Corporation
  • Kununurra Waringarri Aboriginal Corporation
  • Save The Children
  • MG Corporation
  • Waringarri Aboriginal Arts
  • Mirima Language Centre
  • Gelganyem Trust
  • Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service
  • Clontarf Foundation

OES funding ceased in June 2015 and the remaining funds were transferred to the Community Foundation Trust. A Social Task Force has recently been established to identify initiatives that will lead to long-term, beneficial change in the MG community and to make recommendations in relation to the allocation of the remaining OES funds.

MG Youth Worker Program, funded under the OES
Kirsty McLean participating in the Matariki Exchange Program

In recognition of the importance of tertiary education, MG Corporation established the Tertiary Scholarships Program as part of the Goomig ADP negotiated between the State Government and MG Corporation. Under the Goomig ADP Tertiary Scholarships Program, MG Corporation provided financial assistance to MG people completing tertiary education qualifications. Recent recipients of the Goomig ADP Tertiary Scholarships include Kirsty McLean and Jayla Shae Newry.

Kirsty is studying a Bachelor of Science double majoring in Anatomy and Human Biology and Psychological Science at the University of Western Australia. Kirsty is passionate about medical science and is on track to graduate in mid-2017. She plans to continue her tertiary education by pursuing further medical studies.

Jayla is in her final year of an Advanced Diploma of Acting for Contemporary Screen Media at the International Screen Academy in Sydney. Jayla was recently involved in the production of a short film, in which she starred and took on the roles of Script Supervisor and Editor. Jayla is aiming to graduate in mid-2017 and is looking forward to starting a career in screen acting.

Previous Goomig Tertiary Scholars have included Courtney Topliss who studied a Bachelor of Education through Curtin University and Scott Wilson who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia.

Scott Wilson graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia
Jayla Shae Newry starring in a short film at the International Screen Academy

As part of an integrated community development approach, MG Corporation engages with other Aboriginal organisations and key stakeholders for the benefit of MG people and the East Kimberley community more broadly.

MG Corporation is represented at various regional levels, including with respect to the Takeaway Alcohol Management System (TAMS), the Cashless Debit Card trial and the State Government’s District Leadership Group.

MG Corporation is also one of the founding members of the East Kimberley Empowered Communities reform initiative (Binarri-binya Yarrawoo Aboriginal Corporation). Empowered Communities is a set of transformational national reforms for an Indigenous Empowerment agenda, which involves a fundamental shift away from the traditional social policy framework within which Indigenous affairs has been conducted. At its heart is the principle of subsidiarity – that authority to decide and act should rest at the closest level possible to the people or organisations the decision or action is designed to serve. MG Corporation supports the Empowered Communities reform initiative and, in particular, its empowerment agenda with respect to economic development in the East Kimberley region.