In remote Western Australia, the Meekatharra Industry Group (MIG) is delivering local employment initiatives to improve Indigenous economic prosperity.
Meekatharra is a very remote town located 535km northeast of Geraldton, in the Midwest Region of Western Australia. It is the gateway to the Pilbara mining region, and has significant enterprise and employment opportunities through three local gold mines, tourism, pastoral and service delivery. However, Meekatharra has historically cycled in and out of crisis, with high levels of Indigenous unemployment and low school attendance rates.
In 2019, the MIG was formed as part of a Multi-Agency Partnership between the Meekatharra Aboriginal Reference Group (MARG), Yulella Aboriginal Corporation, Industry, Local and State Government, and the National Indigenous Australians Agency. The partnership focuses on building local employment outcomes and supporting the development of innovative micro-enterprises. To enable this, the MIG has launched a job portal, matching job seekers with local opportunities.
Through the Multi-Agency Partnership, the Meekatharra Aboriginal Reference Group is also establishing pathways for young Aboriginal leaders to improve social issues and drive outcomes for their community. Future projects will aim to grow life opportunities for young people through community-led, place-based school attendance strategies, and pathways to employment.