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Pilbara Association of Non-Government Organisations. (PANGO) A brief history to its inception. WHY?.

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Pilbara association of non government organisations

Pilbara Association of Non-Government Organisations


A brief history to its inception


  • PANGO – Pilbara Association of Non Government Organizations was formed in response to the concerns raised by NGOs that if the present expectations of funding bodies and associated agencies continued then the present level of service provision and administration was unsustainable. These issues were first raised by NGO’s who had attended a Regional Workshop conducted by ATSIS for its funded NGO services in December 2003.


The outcome of the meeting was that the members represented passed the following motion:

  • “We, as organisations that receive ATSIS funding are concerned at the increasing time and resources that are required to deliver services that are the responsibility of other government agencies due to the lack of provision of services provided by them and we request an immediate review of this to ensure an equitable outcome for all parties. The ATSIS services that are currently funded are not achieving all required outcomes as a result of this situation.”

Follow up

  • In response to this situation, an invitation was extended to all NGO’s in the Hedland area regardless of funding sources to attend a forum in July 2004. The purpose was to discuss the merit of forming an association of NGO’s and to discuss the role, membership and proposed operation of any association.

  • At that July meeting, which was facilitated by Northern Edge Consultants, eleven agencies attended representing a cross section of service provision provided by the NGOs. All the agencies present echoed the issues and the concerns raised at the meeting in December


  • A brief overview of some of the main issues raised as concerns for the NGO’s were:

  • Funding-

  • Inadequate funding so that for some services maintaining basic Award conditions for staff and paying increasing insurance premiums and other costs are increasingly difficult to meet.

Issues continued
ISSUES continued

  • Complicated and duplicated processes to acquit funding and to reapply for funding often when their agency was the preferred service provider.

  • Inability to offer attractive and competitive salary package arrangements to encourage existing staff to stay or to attract new staff and then retain them.

  • Inability to offer adequate and up to date personal development training.

Service provision

  • Administrating a service is time consuming and is complicated if the agency has a number of different funding sources all requiring the same information but at a different time and in their own preferred format.

  • NGO’s continually being expected to fill ‘the gap’ in the community if no other agency is currently responsible for service provision and then not being renumerated for that service at the next funding round.

Management committees

  • Members of MC’s are often on two or three committees as well as managing their own agencies.

  • It was identified that many MC members are not fully aware of their responsibilities and training and support to committee members is required.

Benefits and objectives

  • Lobby group: a strength in numbers approach to advocate for changes in legislation, process and practice in relation to the functions, roles, responsibilities and funding for NGO’s.

  • Cost effectiveness: Sharing of physical and human resources, bulk purchase of equipment and stores.

  • Networking: Due to time constraints and lack of funding many agencies are working in isolation from each other and often cannot afford the fees to belong and seek support from Peak Body organizations.


  • The NGOs present decided that funding must be sought from an alternative source to independently employ a full time coordinator to operate the PANGO as it was identified that no one could take on the role in conjunction with their existing workload.

  • Northern Edge Consultants was contracted to source funding to establish the PANGO. A host agency was identified and PACC was extremely supportive in this process.


  • Pilbara Regional Development Scheme [PRDS]

  • Lotterywest – General Project Grants

  • Pilbara Fund

  • Department of Indigenous Affairs

  • Department of Community Development

  • Pilbara Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce [in kind assistance]

Where are we now

  • The position of coordinator has been filled and the PANGO is underway. We are all looking forward to the PANGO providing an opportunity for more effective networking and information sharing between the NGO’s themselves and with Government and private business organizations.

Interim membership

  • Pilbara Meta Maya Aboriginal Corporation

  • Wirrika Maya Aboriginal Health Services

  • Sobering Up Centre Group Inc.

  • Youth Involvement Council Inc.

  • Bloodwood Tree Association Inc.

  • Pilbara Indigenous Women’s AC

  • Acacia Sexual Assault Referral Centre

Membership continued

  • Hedland Well Women’s Centre

  • Hedland Women’s Refuge

  • Pilbara Community Legal Service

  • Hedland Housing Association

  • Hedland CDEP

  • Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre


  • Total estimated funding to those groups from State and Federal government agencies, including “one-off” funding (e.g Lotterywest, PRDS etc) on an annual basis is approxiamately $9 million while assets and infrastructure owned by the organisations are valued in the vicinity of $16 million.