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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Imagining Possible Dividends of Hosting Research on Country

Marilyn and Peter Wallace are in a hurry to form their cultural enterprise; register Bana Yarralji as a business;  actually make a start hosting whole range of people and activities on country, and move more certaintly towards obtaining their vision for Nyungkalwarra and Nyungkal country.

They may be in more of a hurry than they have been in the past as they have been getting a glimpse of some of the possible opportunities and potential arising out of hosting research institutions on country.   They can see a win-win-win all around;  students gaining  natural and cultural experiences; natural resource managers (South Cape York Catchments) gaining valuable data; and Bana Yarralji showing  themselves to be both hosts and emerging custodians of Nyungkalwarra lands and waters.

The editor of the local Cooktown newspaper came out on to Nyungkalwarra country to have a look at what's going on and seem to get caught up in all the excitement and visioning of the potential dividends of this kind of hosting into the future, writing a front page newspaper article entitled "The Next Big Thing"

As noted above, then, Marilyn and Peter are excited and in a hurry to actually form their business and really start trading as a cultural enterprise.   They are in a hurry, yet, being in a hurry:

i.   they've been running into hard questions being asked by business advisors from the Balkanu Business Development Unit (whom they have been seeking to recruit for assistance to properly apply business principles to their enterprise)    ..

ii.   they've been running into the hard questions like  "Is there really money in it?  Is there money in it, or is everyone going to be working hard for no profit??"

With opportunity, prospect and whole range of dividends sparkling in their eyes, on Friday 26 August 2011, Marilyn and Peter Wallace went to check to see if their nearest research institution ( ie James Cook University) might be interested in being hosted on country.

In particular, Bana Yarralji went to check out the School of Marine and Tropical Biology, and Professor Steve Williams (& Dr Yvette Williams) whom, they understood may be playing a significant role overseeing research programs mapping the expected impacts of climate change on the biodiversity of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (including Nyungkalwarra country)

Opportunity, prospect and whole range of dividends sparkling in their eyes, the outcomes of this initial visit to James Cook University can only be described as positive and encouraging

i.    Over more than two hours across a table in the new Australian Tropical Sciences and Innovastion Precinct (ATSIP) their was much that was shared, their was postive interest in all Bana Yarralji may have to offer as keen hosts; and growing range of possibilities and potential mutual dividends were identified.  

ii.    Over the more than two hours of generally rewarding discussion it also became clear that the possibility of research hosts (ie Bana Yarralji cultural enterprise) not only tapping significant knowledge and research resource but making income from playing hosts  .. is not going to be easy, and is likely to take some heavy investment in building partnerships before it might really pay

It would seem, then, that to suceed as a cultural enterprise, this whole journey is likely to be a possible strange and unusual mix of real impatience, strong faith, and a vision that looks, unflinchingly, into the longer term future with a clarity and certainty sufficient to look beyond more immediate prospect of costs (in money) outweighing profit (in money)

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Cultural entreprenuers moving onto country, building a base on country, working on country; caring for country, and hosting guests on country