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New opportunities for remote Bulman community

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Margaret Lindsay in the NT community of Bulman
Margaret Lindsay loves living in Bulman
7 Nov 2014

Bulman may be a small, remote community in the Northern Territory, three hundred kilometres northeast of Katherine, but local woman Margaret Lindsay says there is no better place to live.

Margaret, the daughter of the senior traditional owner of the country around Bulman, has lived here most of her life and sees her community as having advantages over big city living.

“It’s quiet, it’s remote and it’s a good place to raise a family,” Margaret said.

“I’ve got three kids; an eighteen year-old, an eleven year-old and a three year-old and they have all got good friends here and are all really healthy and active.

“The local kids all get involved in sports. We’ve had some good footballers who have gone on to play in Darwin and Katherine and my son is currently in Katherine for a sports carnival,” Margaret said.

Margaret credits the introduction of the Australian Government’s Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) into Bulman School for helping raise attendance and create an excitement around going to school.

“The kids are happily going to school and every morning you see the people in their yellow shirts walk around the community helping kids get up and get to school in time for class,” Margaret said.

As with many remote towns and communities around Australia, unemployment is a concern in Bulman but Margaret points to some promising recent job opportunities around the community.

“My eldest son works out bush trapping wild buffalo for a company that exports them to Asia, and there’s a new community store being built here to replace the old store, with locals getting jobs in construction,” Margaret said.

“Bulman is on the Central Arnhem Highway between Nhulunbuy and Katherine so we get a lot of tourists driving through and spending money at our store, and some community members are working in local tourist ventures There’s good fishing on the nearby Wilton River so there’s another possible tourist attraction,” Margaret said.

“I think Bulman has an exciting future and I’m looking forward to seeing my kids and my neighbours’ kids getting local jobs and staying here and raising their own families,” Margaret said.

Find out more

All communities are different, which means we need flexible approaches for how governments and communities work together.

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to come up with their own solutions to suit their particular communities is essential to realise real gains against the Closing the Gap targets to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Find out more by visiting the Remote Australia Strategies webpage.