Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast of South Australia Introduction Desert Biz™ Research methodology WestCAN and capacity development Products of WestCAN Communities and the triple bottom line Critical mass Future directions Deb Fernando and Frances Wyld Roger Burritt (Presenting) Joan Gibbs and Fay Rola-Rubzen
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Introduction – WestCAN The Far West Coast Aboriginal Network (WestCAN) is located 800km west of Adelaide in a remote area of SA. Currently there are four major settlements that make up the local network, Ceduna, Koonibba, Dinahline and Scotdesco. Ceduna population of 4000 people 28% being of Aboriginal descent. Dinahline Aboriginal community homeland located 10km west of Ceduna approximately 30 people living on the community. Koonibba Aboriginal Community is a discrete remote Aboriginal Community of 100 - 150 peoples some 35km west of Ceduna, off the Eyre Highway. Scotdesco is a remote Aboriginal community homeland approximately 120km west of Ceduna population of 50 permanent residents living on a farming community.
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Koonibba Scotdesco Dinahline Ceduna
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Desert Biz™ Desert Biz™ is part of Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre Core Project 3. Fay Rola-Rubzen is the project leader and has participation from 23 organisations and desert communities. WestCAN is one of the case studies and action research component. Desert Knowledge states that it “will help us understand the critical success factors that are more culturally appropriate to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and suited to desert Australia.” http://www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au/research/desertbiz.html Thanks to Fay Rola-Rubzen
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Products of West CAN Bush remedies and healing therapy Outback tours Bush food Horticultural production Cottage industries Thanks to Joan Gibbs
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Research Methodology Action Research A primary purpose of action research is to produce practical knowledge that is useful to people in the everyday conduct of their lives. A wider purpose of action research is to contribute through this practical knowledge to the increased well being- economic, political, psychological, spiritual – of human persons and communities, and to a more equitable and sustainable relationship with the wider ecology of the planet of which we are an intrinsic part. (Reason and Bradbury 2001 p.2) • Indigenist Research Methodology • “Privileges indigenous knowledges, voices, experiences, reflections and analyses of their social, material and spiritual conditions” (Rigney 1999 p.117) • No longer the emergence but the rise of Aboriginal social sciences to better respond to the more local needs of Aboriginal Peoples (Martin 2008) • Disrupts the history of prejudice, suspicion and exploitation (Tuhiwai-Smith 2005)
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Barriers and Impacts • The watch dogs looking for their outcomes • Challenges to move forward • Developing the capacity to move forward • Over coming the fear
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast WestCAN and Capacity Development • The ability to manage their affairs successfully as a collective • A process that entails a change of knowledge, skills, processes, tools and systems • Can not be forced upon the Network • Must come from within • Needs encouragement and incentives • External agencies or partners can contribute to change process but cannot drive it
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Communities and the Triple Bottom Line Triple bottom line accounting is sometimes referred to as sustainability accounting (Schaltegger and Burritt 2006) and a key consideration is the need for an holistic approach to addressing environmental, social, cultural and economic matters associated with business activities. Thanks to Roger Burritt
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Critical Mass The theory of critical mass relies heavily on working towards a common goal within a social group. Macy recognizes that the positive must be emphasized and that organizers must “shift their emphasis from social problems and the need for change to the clear achievements of the group and the remarkable gains that have been made through collaborative effort” (1990 p. 823).
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast Future Directions • Looking outside of government support • Future development and support for the network of Aboriginal businesses on the Far West Coast of South Australia • Connecting with marketing support • Establishing financial services for the businesses • Connecting with small loan services Scotdesco Café, Cultural Awareness and Outback Tours Dinahline • Production of their own products, cultural food trail, horticultural consultancy native bush food Koonibba • Seed collection, native bush foods production, native bush plant nursery, community garden Pampul healing and Therapy Wiru • Establishing a Traditional healing centre • Increasing client base m www.westcan.org.au Website made available through DBCDE BIA funding, website written with the help of Lee Hopkins (specialist in SME’s online), due to go live in two weeks.
Networking Towards Critical Mass on the Far West Coast References ADB, (2008) Practical guide to Capacity Development in a Sector Context, Asion Development Board, Manilla Burgess P. and Morrison J. 2007, ‘Country’, Chapter 9, in Carson B., Dunbar T., Chenhall R. and Bailie R. Social determinants of indigenous health, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, p.187. http://www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au/research/desertbiz.html Macy, Michael W. (1990) ‘Learning Theory and the Logic of Critical Mass’ in American Sociological Review, Vol 55, No. 6, pp. 809 - 826 Martin, Karen (2008) Please knock before you enter: Aboriginal regulation of Outsiders and the implications fro researchers. Post Pressed, Teneriffe, QLD. OECD (2006) The Challenge of Capacity Development: Working Towards Good Practise. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris Reason, P and Bradbury, H (2002) Introduction: Inquiry and Participation in Search of a World Worthy of Human Aspiration in Reason, P and Bradbury, H (eds) Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry & Practise. Sage, London Rigney, Lester (1999) Internationalization of an indigenous anticolonial cultural critique of research methodologies. A guide to Indigenist research methodologies and its principles. Wicazo SA Journal of American Native Studies Review 14 (2) 109 – 121. Schaltegger, S. and Burritt, R.L. (2006) ‘Corporate Sustainability Accounting: A Catchphrase for Compliant Corporations or a Business Decision Support for Sustainability Leaders?’ in Sustainability Accounting and Reporting Schaltegger, S., Bennett, M., and Burritt, R.L. (eds) Springer: Dordrecht, Netherlands. Tuhiwai Smith, Linda (2005) On tricky ground: researching the native in the age of reason. In N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (Eds), Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 85 – 107). Sage, London