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South West Catchments Council farewells Bill Bennell

Bill’s sense of fun, easy-going, approachable nature and his strong work ethic will be missed.
Bill’s sense of fun, easy-going, approachable nature and his strong work ethic will be missed.

After more than 12 years with the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), Bill has decided to pursue his great passion, working in the field in Aboriginal heritage management.

Bill is a Ballardong Nyungar man. He started work with SWCC in July 2002 as Indigenous Land Management Facilitator. In 2006 he took on the role of Stakeholder and Program Manager and in 2009 became Operations Manager.

During his time with SWCC Bill achieved a remarkable amount for the natural resource management industry. He also got Aboriginal people across the south-west involved in natural resource management, ensuring their voices were heard.

Some of Bill's achievements include:

  • Engagement of Nyungar people in the development of the South West Regional NRM Strategy (2005), a key guiding document for NRM in the region.
  • Negotiation of a memorandum of agreement with the south-west Boojara and Gnala karrla Boodja Native Title claimant groups in partnership with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (2006).
  • Creation and delivery of a cross-cultural awareness training framework calledKatijin Wongi- Thinking, Learning and Yarning (2007).
  • Production of a guide to consulting with Aboriginal people -Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement Guidelines(On-Ground Works)(2010).
  • Creation of cultural landscape mapping projects, designed to guide on-ground management decisions with recommendations from Traditional Owners.

Bill's work has demonstrated that by working in true partnership and collaboration with Nyungar people, we can achieve real, shared, tangible and long term positive environmental and social outcomes in the south-west.

We wish Bill the very best in his new role - assisting the Pilbara mining sector to address and comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act and the Native Title Act.