About Oak Valley
Maralinga Tjarutja lnc. and Oak Valley (Maralinga) Aboriginal Corporation are indigenous organisations controlled by two Aboriginal Councils -Maralinga Tjarutja Council and Oak Valley (Maralinga) Council. Maralinga Tjarutja Council is comprised of Anangu people from across the region.
Oak Valley (Maralinga) Council is comprised of community members from Oak Valley. Maralinga Tjarutja lnc. was established under the Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act, 1984 as the body corporate to administer all matters concerning the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands. Oak Valley (Maralinga) lnc. (OVM) was incorporated in 1986 for the purpose of establishing, developing, and managing housing, infrastructure, and community services at Oak Valley. In 2015, OVM transferred from an incorporated body under South Australia’s Associations Incorporation Act 1985 to the Office of the Register of Indigenous Corporation Act (ORIC), ICN 8246.
The two organisations are separate legal entities but, for operational reasons, there is very little difference between them, and they are administered from a single office in Ceduna. The General Manager is responsible for the management of both organisations.
Approximately 80 people reside at Oak Valley, however, this number fluctuates depending on community business and events.
There are 8 Community Council members responsible for community and corporate governance at Oak Valley.
A range of external service providers regularly visit the community. i.e. Eyre Plus, Centrelink, Royal Flying Doctor Service and other visiting clinical specialists and asset maintenance contractors.
There are some notable challenges to ensuring Oak Valley residents and visitors are provided with excellent service standards.
Water - Reticulated water is supplied to the Community via a series of pipes connected to soaks on the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands. This has worked reasonably well since the construction of the system was completed in early 2018 but has some serious limitations and is dependent on regular rain to replenish the soaks. It must be carefully managed to ensure a continuing supply and is one of the main limiting factors with regard to Community expansion.
Health - The Oak Valley Health Service provides primary health care, emergency responses on the MT Lands and maintains Community outreach programs for education, vaccinations and chronic disease management. It is a relatively small health service.
Housing - As mentioned, the lack of water is a limiting factor for increased housing stock. Other considerations include costs associated with building in a very remote location and ensuring the houses available to Community Members are appropriately designed and constructed
Oak Valley [Maralinga] Aboriginal Corporation has recently upgraded the Oak Valley Community Airstrip. The upgrade incorporates both strengthening and sealing the single runway facility so that it can be used by larger planes and will not be weather-affected.
Maralinga Tjarutja has 12 People on Council, including Maralinga Piling Trust representatives.