Murra Murra and Bendee Downs cover around 87,000 hectares of land, located about 130 kilometres east of Cunnamulla. The properties were acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation and since July 2000 has been managed by the Kooma Traditional Owners Association Incorporated (KTOAI) as an Indigenous Protected Area. The IPA listing means that there is funding to pay a Ranger who cares for the land and also acts as a guide for visitors.
The Kooma custodians act as mentors and teachers for young people – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal – who come to learn more about the country and its history, and those who attend Healing Camps there. The old Murra Murra homestead, a beautiful old Queenslander house with wide shady verandahs on all sides, has been set up as a training centre. While the fabric of the house is old, it can sleep up to 20 people and includes a large kitchen, and a boardroom where the Kooma Traditional Owners Association meets to discuss management of the land. The Association aims to attract as many young people as possible, including young people in crisis, to keep them in the community rather than in jail. They have found that as long as they have access to the internet, young people are happy and learn a lot from their stay on Murra Murra: “Kids change when they come here”.
Recently we spent some time with the Chairman of KTOAI, Ross Mitchell to learn more about their past five years working with Arabon.
Describe your business’ and/or personal journey with Arabon to date?
On a personal level, our journey has been quite satisfying. The team at Arabon cares about us and they always ask how we are going. They have a genuine interest in how we are handling the drought situation and are always willing to support us in any issues we may have.
What sets Arabon apart from its competitors?
It never ceases to amaze me when I call the Arabon team, they are always on hand to answer any concerns or just to seek advice on any matters affiliated with our business strategies.
What makes you happiest / most satisfied about working with Arabon?
Very few accountancy firms would ask to visit our country and be willing to speak to our Elders and members and be on hand to answer any questions or concerns they may have in relation to new tax laws or financial audits.
What have you been able to achieve since working with us?
Arabon don’t only do our bookkeeping. Their service delivery for our business is second-to-none. We are very happy with working with Arabon team.
What continues to exceed your expectations?
The team are always on hand to speak to and help in any way.
What is the main reason you would recommend our services to others?
I think the above comments I have made gives a good reason why we are happy with Arabon and will continue to use their services.