MDAS meetings consider constitution reform

Member meetings next week

A series of community consultation meetings across the Mallee next week will help set priorities for reforming the Constitution of the region’s key Aboriginal community-controlled organisation, Mallee District Aboriginal Services.
A membership drive last year increased MDAS’ membership from less than 30 to upwards of 400 members and was the first step in a push to return the organisation to its roots.
MDAS Interim Chairman Damien Murray said the surge of new members and a record turnout at the Annual General Meeting in November were clear evidence of a community wanting to drive its own future.
“The community wants change and wants to be involved.  The new board is committed to an ongoing process of community engagement,” Mr Murray said.
“There has been a lot of change in a short period of time, but we are committed to bringing a community voice to our board and having a stable leadership team to lead us through the process of reform.  We must earn the confidence of all of our Mallee communities,” he said.
“The next step in our reform process is a series of member meetings to consider reforms to our foundation document, the MDAS Constitution.”
Member-only meetings are being held at Kerang on January 12, Swan Hill on January 13 and Mildura on January 14.
“We won’t be able to agree on everything, but everyone will have a say and there will be an opportunity to ask questions and have input into MDAS’ future direction,” Mr Murray said.
“History will show this is a turning point for our Mallee mobs.  Self-determination is what Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) stand for – and that is what our new MDAS members signed up to and voted for at the AGM.”
Mr Murray said the board had appointed an interim chair and deputy chair, because that was the most appropriate course of action until constitutional reform has been delivered.
“While a lot of our energy in the latter part of last year was focussed on returning MDAS to community control, that is only half of the story,” he said.
“From a governance point of view, Constitutional reform is the key challenge ahead of us for our shared future.  We encourage all members to take the opportunity to learn more about our MDAS Constitution and yarn about the changes needed.
“If we have learnt anything this past year, it’s that when Mob works together, we can do amazing things. 
“We have acknowledged our issues of the past and we are now working to address those problems and emerge as a stronger, community-focussed organisation that truly represents us, our concerns and our achievements.”
Registration is compulsory (due to COVID-19 requirements) for the Constitutional Reform meetings.  Details for registration are available on the MDAS website www.mdas.org.au

Pictured: MDAS Interim Chairman Damien Murray

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MALLEE DISTRICT ABORIGINAL SERVICES  “Our Vision: Generations of vibrant, healthy and strong Aboriginal communities”

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Wednesday December 22

MDAS Swan Hill Christmas Lunch

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120 Madden Avenue Mildura
Phone (03) 5018 4100

70 Nyah Road Swan Hill
Phone (03) 5032 8600

9 Nolan Street Kerang
Phone (03) 5412 6004

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MDAS - Quality Innovation Performance Accredited
MDAS - Quality Innovation Performance Accredited