It’s been described as a chance to recognise the year’s achievements in natural resource management, and this year’s Northern Territory Natural Resource Management Conference gave Mimal many reasons to celebrate.
The conference and gala dinner and awards ceremony was held in Darwin yesterday and attended by more than 350 people from across the Territory.
It provided the perfect opportunity for the Strong Women for Healthy Country network, the first-ever network of women land managers in the Northern Territory, to unveil a mural created at their inaugural forum.
Artists Shantelle Miller and Karla McGrady worked with the September forum participants on the development and design of the mural they called ‘Gundung’.
Gundung consists of a series of five panels on stretched canvas. Each panel represents an element symbolic to women - Night, Fire, Sun, Earth, Water - and they’re tied together by the feminine and masculine duality of the rainbow serpent.
Mimal supported the establishment of the network and the forum, and supported women from the network to attend the Territory NRM conference and witness the public unveiling of the mural, which will be on display at NT Parliament House.
During the conference gala dinner, Mimal had cause for more celebrations when it was recognised as the Northern Territory’s top Indigenous Natural Resource Management group for 2019.
Territory NRM presents the award to an outstanding Indigenous group that has worked to care for land and sea country by addressing natural resource management challenges.
“Mimal has been awarded as this year’s winner for their work to reduce threats to people, country and culture by managing late season fires, weeds, feral animals and freshwater quality, as well as the conservation of rock art and sacred sites,” Territory NRM judges said.
Mimal Land Management board chairman John Dalywater said it was an important occasion.
“We are very happy and proud to receive this special award and we’re so happy to have so many Mimal mob here to celebrate the award and strong women,” Mr Dalywater said.
“Thank you to everyone who has worked with Mimal, to all our supporters and especially to the communities of Bulman and Weemol.
“This is the result of a team effort - from the landowners and board and all the workers on the ground who are working to make our country and culture strong, every day.”