Fly-in, fly-out desert knowledge

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

A branch of the desert knowledge movement, that supposedly quintessential Central Australian drive to transform the governance and economy of the vast desert regions, seems to have turned into a fly-in, fly-out operation.

Jan Ferguson, the CEO of the Remote Economic Participation CRC / Ninti One, which was spawned by the earlier Desert Knowledge CRC, now reportedly lives and works in Adelaide, and so does the Communications Manager, Linda Cooper.

Neither returned phone calls and emails from the Alice Springs News in the past few days.

Board member Harold Furber, one for the founders of the desert knowledge movement, asked about the apparent new arrangements, says: “I find it very hard to comment.”

Mr Furber, together with others, has worked tirelessly to bring the movement to fruition: “It was a Central Australian idea,” he says.

Two other branches, Desert Knowledge Australia and the Desert People’s Centre, are still firmly rooted in the Alice Springs.

The Remote Economic Participation CRC’s Donna Anthes (General Manager Operations) and Tammie Boehm (Executive Officer) are still based here.

We put to Mr Furber that a true headquarters of an organisation would be where the CEO works.

He repeated his earlier statement: “I find it very hard to comment.”

Ninti One notably has a massive Federal Government contract to cull feral camels, mostly by shooting them from helicopters.

 

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