Keogh Bay Consulting as recently been contracted to advise a major tourism business on the development of Aboriginal Agreements to support the future development of its operations in WA. KBC helps proponents to develop mutually beneficial, respectful relationships with Traditional Owners, founded on well-structured agreements. Our aim is to avoid adversarial engagement and exploitative relationships between the parties.
The opportunity to facilitate an agreement in tourism enables us to apply many of the lessons learnt in mining contexts over the last 15 years. There is significant common ground in the interests of tourism operators and Aboriginal people. Both value the Country and look to help visitors develop strong connections with the land through positive experiences. We look forward to this agreement process and the chance to create a collaborative arrangements between groups who both love the country.
We will be working initially to first establish a clear business case for the long term relationship between our client and Traditional Owners. The business case and the principles and values that align with it will inform their approach to agreement-making. We expect that our client will identify a range of business benefits from long term partnership that would not have been available from a go-it-alone approach. We also expect to see opportunities for Traditional Owner employment and the chance to develop business skills by working closely with an experienced tourism operator.
This project came to us on the back of a recommendation from a mining industry client who is nearing the completion of their land access agreement. This process has been a positive one, and we expect it to lead to employment opportunities in a region that the mining boom has largely passed by, until now.
The making of an agreement with Traditional Owners may be the continuation and formalisation of a relationship, or the start of a new one. Some businesses make the mistake of thinking that with a signed agreement in hand, the relationship work is done. However, in our experience effective implementation of agreements can be as challenging as their negotiation. KBC has extensive experience assisting businesses to develop internal systems that allow them to meet Aboriginal training and employment, land access, cultural awareness and other agreement obligations.
KBC’s consultants do not specialize in any single aspect or discipline in the agreement-making process. We are not lawyers or archaeologists. Instead, we bring an overall management experience to agreement-making that allows us to better advise businesses on the entirety of their relationships with Traditional Owners and oversee the range of people and skills needed to reach an agreement.