Working together for the future of Cape York

Over 40 representatives from across Cape York gathered in Cairns recently for a Joint Decision Making (JDM) process where they discussed and workshopped issues that are important to the region’s future.

Joint Decision Making (JDM) provides communities a seat at the table and builds local capability for Bama to directly negotiate with the government regarding investment in the community.

JDM panels bring Cape York community members together to discuss the opportunities and agree on shared recommendations.

Pama Futures Implementation Manager Amanda Fyfe said the JDMs are essential and provide a seat at the table to engage with all levels of government.

“Pama Futures is really excited to explore opportunities to use JDM in engaging with governments, expanding the scope and working with other federal departments and state agencies,” she said.

“We have heard from previous participants that the JDM values local voices.”

JDMs have been occurring in Cape York since 2018, providing support to communities as they present recommendations to the Government around programs that are important to them.

William (Willy) Gordon from Hope Vale was a panel member for his community and said that it was important to have a say in government decisions about the future of First Nations peoples and communities.

“It has been a big ask – I come from an era where we were told what to expect,” he said.

“It is good for us to make decisions for ourselves and for our futures, this has been a struggle to get where we are going.

“Through education we can learn from our past and support the decisions we make in the future and by working as a team through Pama Futures, we can look at supporting each other to make important decisions.”

Willy Gordon attended the recent Pama Futures JDM
Willy Gordon attended the recent Pama Futures JDM

Willy likes to work with a dogmatic approach and knows that we are paving the way for the younger generation to carry the torch.

I believe we have to generate discussions as a group and these JDMs are a great way to do that. What we are doing now is making things happen

Willy Gordon

Willy recognises that the JDM opportunity needs to bring more voices across Cape York and in time will become a key tool in empowering communities.  The Pama Futures team are focussed on sharing this opportunity across communities and will be engaging with our State and NIAA colleagues as part of community briefings to be scheduled over the coming months.

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