Timeline of MEEDAC since 2009
Meedac Inc. took on the MUNS (Municipal Services) program ensuring remote communities with essential services such as electricity, repairs and maintenance to equipment, buildings and roads in areas such as Barrels Wells, Kardaloo, Kutkabubba, Pia Wadjarri, and Windidda.
We were asked to take over CDEP in areas such as Wiluna, Leonora, Laverton, Norseman Bondini Reserve, Kutkabubba, Menzies, Mulga Queen, Windidda and smaller remote communities.
MEEDAC Inc. undertook the Mullewa Club Motel (Inspirations) redevelopment, Wiluna Roadhouse and café. We redeveloped the old supermarket in Leonora into offices, an arts centre, healthy living and food preparation space plus horticultural activity to the rear which is still operating under CDEP.
CDEP came to an end and changed to focus more on the delivery of training and placement of participants into employment within the wider community. Mission Australia successfully gained the Remote Jobs Community Programme contract on behalf of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mission Australia subcontracted a portion to MEEDAC inc. to cover the Mullewa, Morawa and Yalgoo areas.
A joint initiative between Karara and MEEDAC with the support of SODEXO. A Horticulture enterprise that provides quality fruit and vegetables to mine sites and local supermarkets.
2013 Geoff Wedlock Innovation Park project was started with participants from CDEP and Harry Taylor, our horticulturist, fencing and clearing the land of saltbush.
Milton joined MEEDAC as 30 hours a week supervisor for Innovation Park. (currently MEEDAC's General Manager)
450 chooks were purchased by Karara as well as a laying caravan on site having to be monitored and fed 7 days a week.
April 2013 fences constructed and first crops put in the ground
Melons, Zucchini, Pumpkins and snow peas were some of our first produce sent to Geraldton Fruit and Veg as well as local shops in Morawa.
June 2013 all staff received letters to state MEEDAC was not able to employ after June 30 as funding had changed.
July 2013 MEEDAC was asked by Mission Australia to subcontract to them to manage the RJCP contract in Mullewa, Morawa, Yalgoo and the Murchison.
Sodexo comes into with Innovation Park with $100,000.00 financial injection into the project the for future.
Mary joined MEEDAC as Operations Manager August 2013.
First delivery to Karara mine site 21/12/2013 watermelon 400kg
2014 product delivered to Geraldton Fruit and veg as well as into Canning vale markets
Established Student engagement program with WA College of Agriculture Morawa, students to be mentored by our participants.
11th December 2014, 18 participants received their cert 2 in Horticulture, presented by Patrick Burke GM Karara
Construction of new shade houses continues and clean-up of more land inside fenced area.
Mission withdraw from RJCP contract PMC offer to MEEDAC as full contractor for Mid-West West with 9 days’ notice. (management in melt down)
We set up offices in Kalbarri, Dongara, Northampton, Narngalu and the current offices we have inland Mullewa, Yalgoo and Morawa.
PMC renamed RJCP to CDP, Community Development Program. MEEDAC took over the CDP contract for the Midwest and expanded their offices to Kalbarri, Dongara, Northampton and Narngulu.
MEEDAC compliance and administration office established in Geraldton
Applied for funding to build and manage Aged appropriate accommodation in Mullewa, we were successful and are currently in the planning stage.
Approached by City of Greater Geraldton to manage Maru recycle tip shop for them
MEEDAC Inc. successful won the tender to take over the Geraldton Tip Shop and entered a community agreement with NACC and City of Geraldton. MEEDAC commenced managing the shop 15th December 2016 employing 3 people.
MEEDAC entered community agreement with NACC and city to recycle plastic and not send to landfill.
MEEDAC Inc. successful gained a tender to establish aged appropriate accommodation in Mullewa.
MEEDAC Inc. commenced a new venture called the MEEDAC Reach Out Program, an initiative of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. MEEDAC have been operating similar Bus Patrol services for the past 15 years in Mullewa, Laverton and Kalgoorlie.
MEEDAC's first load of cardboard from the Meru recycling facility was sent to Perth 16/3/2017
1st July 2018, MEEDAC took over the Community Development Program in Goldfields, Yaaliku region. Locations including Leonora, Laverton, Wiluna and surrounding communities.
MEEDAC’s real strength has been the ongoing support of the Indigenous and wider community over the past 21 years, as well as the dedication and commitment of its core long serving board members, who have donated their time to MEEDAC and the leadership necessary for this organisation to be successful.
1997 - 2013
Community elders were concerned that their people had no meaningful employment and training opportunities.
MEEDAC was incorporated on the 26th May 1997 by community members in Mullewa so they could apply for grant funding from ATSIC to operate a CDEP program. The application was successful, and our first challenge was to find 80 participants to leave Social Security benefits and join the CDEP program as they needed to sign-up to transfer onto the CDEP payroll.
This was a big step as CDEP was recognised as a part-time job and not working for the dole as is the case with the current Government program.
It did, however, also provide the participant with slightly more money than their unemployment benefits.
Working on CDEP was Tax Exempt, so the participant could obtain other work and not pay additional tax.
The Government, however, exempted itself by legislation from paying superannuation to the participants, so in reality, they never had the full benefits received by mainstream workers.
They also added the CDEP participants to the National Employment Statistics; which for many years, hid the real issue of high Indigenous unemployment throughout Australia.
Before long, MEEDAC had a waiting list as the community soon realised that they could be much better off financially by being involved.
Due to the community demand within the region; MEEDAC increased its CDEP numbers to 130 participants and developed activities in Morawa, Yalgoo and Three Springs as well as the remote communities of Kardaloo, Barrel Wells, Mt Wittenoom, Nabawa and Pia Wadjari.
MEEDAC’s first big CDEP project CDEP was Redland Roses which operated successfully for several years and was expanded to include cut flowers which were sold to retail outlets in the region.
The new range of projects, set up with a newly appointed Horticulturist provided training which equipped CDEP Participants with many new skills and provided a certain level of self-confidence to tackle new things.
The cut flower production was nominated and selected as one of 6 finalists for a state award.
MEEDAC expanded the horticulture project to include the commercial production of vegetables and free-range eggs.
This required the acquisition of more land in Mullewa and the construction of a dam to ensure adequate water supply and the construction of the poultry business on a section of the property. Both Mullewa and Morawa currently sell their fresh produce on a commercial basis, including through the Perth markets. CDEP participants were able to participate in on-the-job training; including learning the best practices as set out in our certification, which is required in this industry. The participants are exposed to real employment systems and procedures.
MEEDAC also set-up Redland Building and Maintenance, which provided participants with the opportunity to develop skills in this industry. Over the years many community members have received accredited training in these trades, and some have become qualified carpenters.
MEEDAC developed many different projects and activities during the CDEP years.
Horticulture operations in Mullewa and Morawa
Retail operations in Mullewa and Morawa
Building Repairs and Maintenance teams
Various Community activities such as community clean-ups
Arts and Crafts projects and crèche facilities
Youth and Sports programs
As an essential part of these projects MEEDAC also provided many accredited training programs and certificates in;
Literacy and Numeracy
Arts and Crafts
Women’s NOW Program
These only name a few
MEEDAC has also purchased and renovated houses in the Midwest area which are now rented out to community members. Some of these would have been demolished unless they were renovated by MEEDAC, resulting in less housing in the region.
The CDEP had a diverse age range of participants involved with some projects having school leavers and community elders working together. Many of the mature age participants enjoyed the program as it gave them the more mobility and ability to socialise with others in the community.
MEEDAC has for many years also provided the Yalgoo and Mullewa community with Centrelink services and operates a Community Patrol in Mullewa which is currently funded by DAA. These activities have also provided employment opportunities for community members.
MEEDAC commenced the massive project to redevelop the Mullewa Club Hotel into what is now known as “Inspirations” a 15 room motel, dining and café which operates on a commercial basis. Those who have visited Inspirations would understand that MEEDAC is very proud of this project and the positive impact it has had within Mullewa and the wider community.
MEEDAC has worked with several Government departments to provide Municipal Services (MUNS) to the remote communities of Barrel Well, Kardaloo and Pia Wadjari. This involves ensuring that they have essential services such as electricity, repairs and maintenance to equipment, buildings and roads. MEEDAC also organises rubbish removal and general community clean-ups.
MEEDAC was asked to take over the CDEP program within the Goldfields Region, which included activities in Wiluna, Leonora, Laverton, Norseman Bondini Reserve, Kutkabubba, Menzies, Mulga Queen, Windidda and several smaller remote communities.
While operating the Goldfields CDEP MEEDAC renovated and reopened the Wiluna Roadhouse and Café which is currently being leased out and redeveloped the old supermarket in Leonora into offices, an arts centre, healthy living and food preparation space plus a horticulture activity in the rear of the building. These activities are still operating today under the new CDP program.
Since MEEDAC starting managing the CDEP program in the Goldfields we have also managed the Kalgoorlie and Laverton community patrols and the MUNS services for the Kutkabubba and Windidda Communities. MEEDAC still provides these services today.
MEEDAC CDEP programs in the Midwest operated from July 1997 until this program was closed Australia wide by the Federal Government in June 2013. The MEEDAC Goldfield’s CDEP operated from 2010 to the programs closure in June 2013.
During this time the CDEP was administered by several different Government departments and therefore different KPI (Key Performance Indicators) when assessing the outcomes of the program.
Originally the CDEP KPI’s were focused more on providing meaningful activities to increase the well-being of the participant and the community. The main emphasis was for the program to assist in reducing the rates of incarceration, substance abuse and domestic violence within the communities.
After the closure of ATSIC the CDEP programs KPI’s were more focused on the delivery of training and the placement of participants into employment within the wider community.
The real strength of MEEDAC however has been support of the indigenous and wider community over the past 20 years and the dedication and commitment of its core long serving board members who have donated their time to MEEDAC and provided the steady leadership necessary for the organisation to be successful.
MEEDAC’s Chairperson Jim Sandy and Board Members Trevor Simpson, Sherrideen Battle, Charmaine Simpson and Darryl Dalgetty have served their community for many years and provided the commitment that has enabled MEEDAC to continue to grow and provide essential services throughout the region.