Kimberley Futures will comprise strategic Indigenous leaders with two members appointed from each of the Empowered Communities boards. It will also have two independent board members (who may be non-Indigenous) with specific skills, such as in finance, policy or strategic leadership.
Kimberley Futures will:
set the strategic direction for the Kimberley by developing a 10-year strategic plan
drive policy and legislative reforms at the regional, state and national levels
provide an interface for corporate supporters and investors in the Kimberley.
Kimberley Empowered Communities boards
Each board will consist of up to four Indigenous leaders who are recognised strategic thinkers and who will be representative of the broader community in either Central Kimberley (Fitzroy Valley and Derby) or West Kimberley (Broome, Bidyadanga and Dampier Peninsula).
The boards will:
make decisions about Empowered Communities in their region
work with communities to determine the membership and process for community panels
collaborate with other Empowered Communities boards and Kimberley Futures on Kimberley-wide initiatives and strategic planning
measure the regional impact of programs and services and engage with government on funding decisions.
Opt-in organisations will be majority Aboriginal-owned and will ‘walk the talk’ of reform. Leadership must be strong and be able to demonstrate cultural authority within solid governance practices—beyond the standards of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.
Organisations must have a track record of delivering positive change, be innovative and be prepared to do things differently according to community needs and with a focus on families and individuals.
Opt-in organisations will sign a memorandum of understanding that ensures clear accountability and transparency. They will provide services aligned with the Empowered Communities values and aim to leave a legacy beyond their remit and the contract expiry date.
Each community that chooses to opt in to Empowered Communities will be required to establish a community panel. The panel will consist of three or four members. Panel members will be chosen for their links within the community and must demonstrate their personal commitment to the West Kimberley Empowered Communities vision.
The community panels will:
identify community needs and define the requirements for response
develop and implement a long-term community plan and an effective communications strategy to obtain buy-in and support from community and service providers
monitor service delivery performance and community progress—with performance measures set by the community, not by government.
The panels will have the authority to enforce values and reward progress. They will also:
Backbone organisations — Aarnja Limited & Wunan Foundation
Aarnja Limited will manage and oversee a small dedicated team of professionals who will facilitate and administer planning and governance policies, processes and procedures.
The backbone organisation will:
lead the development of the governance model
provide administrative support—planning, coordination, meetings and record management
coordinate and negotiate with opt-in organisations
undertake research and policy development
validate performance with communities.