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WBACC Operations Report

Governance Arrangements

During this financial year there have been no changes to Council’s enabling legislation or any other legislation directly relevant to its operation.

There were no adverse reports about Council by the Auditor-General, Commonwealth Ombudsman, a Parliamentary Committee or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

No indemnities were given to Council’s officers against a liability, legal or otherwise, including premiums paid or agreed to be paid for insurance against an officer’s liability for legal costs.

There was one Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Council this financial year, a non-election year.

As required by the PGPA Act; the Council has an Audit Committee consisting of:

  • Tony Federici: Senior Accountant (retired), Booth & Co, Nowra;
  • Neville Hampton: Community Representative;
  • Tom Brown Snr: Executive Board Member (Chair);
  • Clive Freeman; Executive Board Member
  • Rhonda Brown: Community Representative.

Audit Committee (PGPA Rule Section 17BE)

Member name

Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience (include formal and informal as relevant)

Number of meetings attended / total number of meetings

Total annual remuneration

Tony Federici

Qualified Accountant and Auditor, has worked assisting WBACC for over 20 years



Tom Brown

Retired WBACC Works Department Manager and Community Coordinator



Neville Hampton Jnr

Qualified Accountant, formerly CFO of WBACC



Rhonda Brown

Retired public servant (training officer)



Clive Freeman

Ex Commonwealth and State public servant, Bachelor of Science,



The Audit Committee met regularly; according to its Charter which can be found at https://www.wbacc.gov.au/corporate-documents/

The Audit Committee’s role involves reporting to the Board against government funding and other sources and ensuring that Council’s investments are targeted and appropriate.

The Audit Committee, along with the full WBACC Board, undertook financial governance training this year, and also spent some time on a review of current WBACC Administrative Policies. The Audit Committee also made recommendations to improve transparency relating to potential conflicts of interest within the Board.

The Work Health and Safety Committee held its regular meetings, with a hiatus during COVID. This year, the Committee focused on the development of electronic incident and injury reporting forms, which are now in place. The committee also further developed the WHS quarterly reporting template for presentation to the Board.

Further to section 17BE(h) of the PGPA, WBACC did not have any non-compliances recorded.

There were no directions issued by the responsible Minister, or other Minister, under the enabling legislation of the Council or other legislation during the reporting period. There were no general policy orders that applied to WBACC during the reporting period under s. 22 of the PGPA Act.

The Privacy Commissioner did not issue a report on Council pursuant to Section 30 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), with no personal privacy complaints being made against Council during the reporting period.

Council complied with the requirements further to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act, 2013 (PGPA Act) in preparing its Annual Report.

This Annual Report was approved by the Directors at a meeting of the Board Directors on 26th October 2020; and referred to in a letter signed by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and dated 26th October 2020; to the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Senator the Hon Ken Wyatt.

Environmental Impact Management

Under Section 516A of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (“EPBC Act”) Australian Government organisations are required to detail their environmental performance and contributions to Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD).

WBACC has an Environmental Management Policy which sets out WBACC’s approach to:

  • energy and water conservation and waste water disposal
  • minimisation and elimination of harmful substances
  • the correct and safe disposal of all substances
  • the minimisation of waste generation through reduction, reuse and recycling
  • the Minimisation of pollution – noise, visual, electromagnetic radiation, odour
  • addressing environmental concerns in all planning and landscaping decisions
  • encouragement of procedures that adhere to the principles of the Environmental Management Policy
  • regular audits of its Environmental Management System.

In the 2019-20 year Council continued its on-line communication methods, reducing the number of hard copy mailouts to members, and made efforts to reduce paper use in the WBACC offices.

All chemicals used on site and within the BNP as part of our cleaning operations are properly stored and were disposed of properly. They were also reviewed for their environmental impact, with some replacements made.

An Asbestos Management Plan is implemented, and all asbestos (which occurs in the buildings owned by DITRDC, leased to Parks and sub-leased to WBACC) is contained.

Noise pollution on the Depot site has had its impact reduced by conducting noisy operations in a different location within the Depot, away from offices and houses.

Bioluminescence at Scottish Rocks, within the Booderee National Park
Bioluminescence at Scottish Rocks, within the Booderee National Park

Work Health and Safety Management

In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 , WBACC is required to report on the Workplace Health and Safety management arrangements of Council.

WBACC has a WH&S Management System and WH&S policies. WBACC continues to monitor its WH&S performance against the results of the COMCARE audit undertaken in the 2019-19 year and in June 2020 finalised the Corrective actions out of that report.

The COMCARE audit had been conducted as part of an Agreement with Parks Australia, which paid WBACC a WHS Capacity Building Payment to assist with our WH&S compliance. WBACC received the last of those payments in June 2020, which covered the costs incurred by WBACC to meet all corrective actions.

WBACC has a Health and Safety Committee responsible for development and implementation of strategies to protect employees against risks to their health and safety. The Committee meets regularly to perform this function. Membership of that committee has been stable this year.

In 2019-20 there were no accidents or dangerous incidents that required notification to COMCARE, however WBACC did notify COMCARE of two incidents that were likely to result in COMCARE claims.

Council staff are up to date with all required training relating to WH&S, the operation of plant etc, manual handling, sun protection, what to do in the case of snakes etc. All council staff and some registered members undertook their yearly first aid training, including in the use of defibrillators.

Day Care staff at First Aid Training
Day Care staff at First Aid Training

Operational Units

WBACC operates:

  • a contract services team which provides services to Parks Australia and DITRDC
  • a day care centre which is licensed for 30 children
  • an administration section which is responsible for community services, human resources, financial management, cultural heritage and procurement and contracting functions.

Overall, WBACC had a good year as evidenced in the Financial Reports. WBACC attracted a large amount of government funding in the final week of the year for housing and Rangers programs. Whilst extremely welcome, the injection of funds meant that the percentage of own source income sourced from the rendering of services under contract, dropped from over 50% to approximately 40%.

Total comprehensive income also increased on the previous year, as did cash on hand despite Council using reserve monies to repair and maintain housing.

Contract Services Team Report for 2019-20

The Contract Services Team operates out of the WBACC Depot in Jervis Bay Village. This year there was a contract with DITRDC for works in the Jervis Bay Village and Wreck Bay Village, grant funding from NIAA for weed control and five Service Level Agreements (“SLAs”) with BNP for:

  • Roads and Fire Trails
  • Cleaning
  • Entry Station
  • Grounds maintenance; and
  • Infrastructure

WBACC also regularly undertakes contract work over and above that within the DITRDC and Parks Australia Statements of Work. This work is arranged under individual work orders and is often funded out of Government’s capital expenditure budget.

This year the Contract Services Team attracted 1.24 million in payments for services rendered.

Will Hampton, Contract Services Manager
Will Hampton, Contract Services Manager

Roads and Fire Trails Team—examples of work completed in 2019-20

As well as completing all required work under the Service Level Agreements (grading, pothole repairs, slashing of vegetation to maintain tracks and fire trails), the team also completed re –establishment of gravel & sealed road verges and cleaning of roadside drains.

During the year the busiest jobs have been the blowouts & pothole repairs on Ellmoos & Stoney creek roads, APZ clearings and stormwater repairs at Visitor carparks.

The team also undertook a work schedule for the 403, consisting of maintenance work on several roads and fire trails, Boorala & Cemetery road

Michael Pascoe, Roads and Trails Team Member
Michael Pascoe, Roads and Trails Team Member
Jarred Sturgeon, Roads and Trails team Member
Jarred Sturgeon, Roads and Trails team Member

Cleaning Team—examples of work completed in 2019-20

The Team completed all required work under the Service Level Agreements–cleaning of all amenities, where the team works to a time schedule for each toilet & shower block in the campgrounds, bar-b-ques, rubbish removal within BNP, cleaning of Parks and DITRDC buildings, daily maintenance checks and reporting of any incidents. Cleaning and entry station staff are often the face of WBACC for visitors because they are in the BNP so often and deal directly with visitors. Staff have developed useful customer service skills as a result of this. The staff undertook "verbal judo" training to assist them to develop skills in dealing with difficult customers.

The cleaning team was the team most affected by the Booderee National Park closures as a result of bushfires and COVID-19. In order to retain income and jobs, WBACC and Parks negotiated for the team to work on other activities instead. The team were involved in camping and picnic area improvements, re-planting, mulching and installing of new flagpoles in the garden beds at the Entry Station & Visitor Centre precinct.

Elijah Ardler, Cleaning Team Leader
Elijah Ardler, Cleaning Team Leader
Josh Williams, Cleaning Team member
Josh Williams, Cleaning Team member
Kyle Brown, Cleaning Services Team member
Kyle Brown, Cleaning Services Team member

Ronald McLeod, Cleaning Services Team member
Ronald McLeod, Cleaning Services Team member

George St. Maite, Cleaning Services Team member
George St. Maite, Cleaning Services Team member

Entry Station:

As well as completing all required work under the Service Level Agreements (manning the Entry Station, issuing tickets, undertaking traffic control measures) the Team also conducted traffic control activities during the bushfires and COVID-19 and worked with Parks Australia to manage communication with tourists who turned up despite the closures and to record numbers of people each day. There was also work related to the Prime Minister's announcement of free park entry. The team undertook a course in customer aggression training and learnt to operate the new boom gates and camera system.

Sarah Cook, Entry Station Team member
Sarah Cook, Entry Station Team member

Grounds Maintenance Team—examples of work completed in 2019-20

As well as completing all required work under the Service Level Agreements (maintenance of gardens throughout the Park, mowing, trimming, weeding, maintaining garden beds etc) the Team also has a daily schedule of work on the 403. Part of this work is the twice a year clean-up of Wreck Bay Village in June & December. This year, the team had a Communities Environment grant to assist with the end of year cleanup. As well as doing work within the village, this cleanup extended to the beaches of Wreck Bay, with community members also chipping in to collect marine debris.

During the next review of the SLA agreement in October 2020 the grounds maintenance team hopes to pick up work for various sites within BNP not currently included. For the first time, this year saw the team successfully quote for work for the Department of Defence, with some re-vegetation work at HMAS Creswell, which will be underway early in the new financial year

During the COVID lockdown, the team worked collaboratively with BNP staff on a makeover of the Visitor' Centre and entry station garden beds.

WBACC and Park's staff working togtether
WBACC and Park's staff working togtether

The good work of the grounds team was recognised by Parks Australia this year for its quality and timeliness.

Our teams help keep the environment suitable for flora and fauna such as this Jacky Dragon Our teams help keep the environment suitable for flora and fauna such as this Jacky Dragon

Shayne Brown, Grounds Team Leader Shayne Brown, Grounds Team Leader

Examples of work - Infrastructure team - 2019-20 As well as completing all required work under the Service Level Agreements (repairing and maintaining structures within BNP), the team conducted maintenance on BNP fireshed, campground roofing repairs, display boards at caves beach and Botanic Gardens. Toilet seat replacement in campground toilet blocks.

The Team also completed several new kitchens and painting jobs on houses in Jervis Bay Village, contracted to DITRDC.

Importantly, the infrastructure team also organised and carried out much of the work on housing in Wreck Bay Village, installing new kitchens and bathrooms (on thirteen houses); windows, verandahs and awnings, roof repairs and conducting emergency repairs.

Jeff McLeod and Max McLeod, Infrastructure Team members Jeff McLeod and Max McLeod, Infrastructure Team members


The weed monitoring and eradication strategy is an ongoing program performed on the 403 hectares of land owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.

Hand removal of sea spurge and bitou bush seedlings is currently ongoing, splatter guns are being used on satellite infestations of bitou bush in areas that are inaccessible for vehicle access, and a high pressure spray unit is also used to eradicate larger areas of infestations.

The team has also been monitoring the effects of overspray from round up on non-targeted species (natives, orchids and succulents) and monitoring vegetation that is highly sensitive to overspray at Summercloud beach, Mary beach, the headlands and cliffs at Shelley’s point and cemetery point.

A shared agreement between Parks Australia and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council has allowed both parties to work together on eradicating both species. Work completed on sea spurge at Shelley’s point, caves beach, Marys beach, Summercloud beach, Pommies beach and cemetery point has reduced the population of sea spurge significantly.

Whilst is important to eradicate and reduce the population of bitou bush and sea spurge, it is also very important to research and monitor both species in their current environment. Collecting data and recording through GPS mapping and data entries has been a high priority for the Weeds crew and will continue as a major function for the purpose of Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council’s obligation to Natural Area Management and Land Management practices.

Dan Williams, Weeds Team member Dan Williams, Weeds Team member

Kevin Mundy, Weeds Team member Kevin Mundy, Weeds Team member

Gudjahgahmiamia Day Care Centre Report for 2018–19

A socially distanced daycare team A socially distanced daycare team

The day care centre is located in Wreck Bay Village.

The day care centre is not a financially profitable exercise for WBACC, but its important role in providing community services to members justifies WBACC’s decision to continue to operate it.

This year, Gudjahgahmiamia’s operations were affected by the local bushfires in December 2019 and COID19 from March 2020. Both of these events impacted on attendance and income for the centre. The centre application for the 50% COVID19 Child Care Relief Package was successful. This enable the Gudjahgahmiamia team to work from home completing a variety of on-line learning opportunities, professional reading and to send regular emails to families with updates and activities ideas. While all but one family returned to care in May 2020 when the centre re-opened, some families reduced or increased their days to reflect changes in their child care needs.

The centre met all licensing requirements and acquittals for the financial year.

Sarah Ketelhohn, Day Care Centre Director Sarah Ketelhohn, Day Care Centre Director

Aunty Leslie Morgan Aunty Leslie Morgan

One aspect of the day care centre’s operations, is the ongoing collaboration with a local service called Noah’s Ark which supports children who require early intervention services.

This year the day care team worked with the Noah’s Ark team and a Speech Therapist to incorporate the SWAY (Sounds, Words, Aboriginal Language and Yarning) program in our centre.

  • One staff member completed the 3-day training program and then shared the resources and ideas with the team
  • Families of children aged 3 – 5 were provided with information about the SWAY and were invited to sign permission notes so their child could participate in the SWAY program
  • The day care staff member presented and explored the activities with small groups each week.
  • These sessions are documented in the daily journal for all families to read and share with their child.
  • The Speech Therapist presents a targeted program to small groups of children one day a week. This session supports the children who have not had a formal speech assessment but are showing some delay in their speech or language development
  • Handouts are sent home for children to share activities with their family and continue the learning at home
  • The staff member participates in SWAY networking sessions. This supports the staff member to implement the program and is also an opportunity to share experiences, knowledge and ask questions of their peers.

Day Care Centre with updated resources Day Care Centre with updated resources

Moving forward

  • Working with a local business to create a Facebook page to promote the centre, recruit staff and promote the services the Gudjahgahmiamia provides including the SWAY program
  • Additional day care staff to participate in the 3-day SWAY training
  • Day Care staff and Noah’s Ark staff continue to build on their solid relationship which will be valuable for future collaborations.
  • All parties feel they can respectfully share information
  • For the child, often their first access to a small group speech therapy session
  • Families have access to high quality early childhood services in a culturally safe space.
  • Aboriginal staff in early childhood services are trained and qualified
  • Families feel safe to access services because of the reputation of the Centre
  • Staff learning good strategies for working with children.
  • Parents and staff developing good relationships.
  • Parents and families are getting good information about their child’s developmental needs.
  • Parents are involved in the process, and family members are encouraged to practice at home

Immediate outcomes

  • Children are getting correct diagnoses
  • Families are able to access funding to support their child if they are diagnosed with developmental issues.
  • Child is accessing specialists who can provide support.
  • Parents are making more effective decisions to support their child.
  • Staff learning good strategies for working with children.
  • Staff capacity to conduct accurate developmental diagnosis is increased.
  • Staff confidence is increased.
  • Parents and staff developing good relationships.
  • Parents and families are getting good information about their child’s developmental needs.

Marnie Waaka, DayCare Team member Marnie Waaka, DayCare Team member

Akala Maybury, DayCare Team member Akala Maybury, DayCare Team member

Tabitha Moore, DayCare team member Tabitha Moore, DayCare team member

Cultural Heritage Unit:

This year saw the establishment of the Cultural Heritage Unit consisting of a single staff member to develop a BNP Cultural Heritage Strategy and Implementation Plan, under contract to BNP. This contract has been 25 years in the making and marked an important milestone for WBACC. The approval of the draft plan by the BNP Joint Board of Management at the end of the financial year means that WBACC is now in a position to negotiate a four year Cultural Heritage Contract with BNP. The protocols developed in the Implementation Plan are already being tested and the work of the unit has extended to some fee for service work for NBN Co, which required Cultural Heritage Inductions for its staff. Next year, the team hopes to provide further induction training to the Defence Department and the Territory Administration, as well as to perform the services and develop the Projects under contract.

Clive Freeman, WBACC's Cultural Heritage Officer Clive Freeman, WBACC's Cultural Heritage Officer

Community Liaison and Engagement:

This year saw the long term incumbent of the CLO position retire and the employment of another Registered Member to take on the role. The position focused on the reinstitution of regular meeting with Parks' management to discuss community questions and concerns with management and operations of the BNP and as a conduit from BNP management to community with information about what is happening in the Park. The position took on management of the staff and community newsletters and included a BNP section in each newsletter, to improve the information flow between the Park and WBACC membership. As COVID lifts, the postion will be organising community information sessions where Park staff will regularly address WBACC members on such issues as species monitoring, reintroduction of species, seed progation inthe botanic gardens etc. The position also went about establishing holiday and homework programs for community school children, which were very well attended.

Fiona Dann, WBACC's Community Liaison and Engagement Officer Fiona Dann, WBACC's Community Liaison and Engagement Officer

insert photo

Small Grants Administration (Sporting):

WBACC took on administration of the small grants program from the ACT Government this year, under contract to NIAA. The scheme provides small grant assistance to indigenous sporting teams in the ACT, including the JBT. This contract is an important step towards WBACC's self sufficiency, given that our administration skills have been recognised as good enough to award us a contract to manage a government scheme. The work of the program was heavily impacted by COVID, given that no-one could join sporting teams for half the year, however the staff member employed under the contract was able to utilise her skills to investigate grant opportunities for WBACC, which resulted in several grant applications still under consideration.

Sharon Brown, WBACC's Grants Officer
Sharon Brown, WBACC's Grants Officer

Administration Team Report for 2019-20

The administrative team is the backbone of WBACC. It’s work ensures the funds for the day care and contract services teams to operate, and facilitates all land management and community services obligations. The functions of the team are wide and varied, encompassing:

  • Support to the Board of Management—arrangement of Board meetings, Board papers and minutes; policy development.
  • Contract and Procurement Management—tendering and contracting, contract performance management, negotiation with government and contractors.
  • Financial Management—funding applications and acquittals, invoicing, accounts payable, payroll, budgeting, administration of community policies and payments (eg. higher education, sporting and small business grants).

Rachel McLeod - Accounts Manager Rachel McLeod - Accounts Manager

Naomi Brown Accounts Team member Naomi Brown Accounts Team member

Kevin (KJ) Ardler, Accounts Team member Kevin (KJ) Ardler, Accounts Team member

  • Human Resources—management of all employment contracts, performance, WH&S, training and education outcomes.

George Brown, WBACC's Human Resources Manager George Brown, WBACC's Human Resources Manager

Sherrie Tripp, HR and DayCare Admin trainee Sherrie Tripp, HR and DayCare Admin trainee

  • Community Liaison/Engagement—organisation of community events, meetings, consultations; delivery of community programs (eg. Big Cuz, Little Cuz, Second bite, community garden).
  • Cultural Heritage Management—development of strategy, policies consultations, communication.
  • General Administration—reception, data entry, file management, archiving, dissemination of community information.

Loretta Wellington, Administration Team member Loretta Wellington, Administration Team member

  • JBT networking—Council maintains its obligation to various committees established to effectively plan and advocate for residents of Jervis Bay Territory. (eg. Jervis Bay Emergency Management Committee).

This year the administration team attracted $5.57 million in government grant funding through grant applications, renewals and negotiations. It acquitted all funds accurately and on time. The team also negotiated and managed the contracts performed by the contract services and other teams, to the value of $2.28 million. It managed day care fees, rent payments and income from investments.

The team also managed outgoings—it arranged insurances, legals, banking, payroll and supplier contracts and payments.

Significant work of the team this year included:

  • submission of grant applications for WBACC"s Home ownership implementation strategy and Caring for Country Rangers
  • finalisation of a Cultural Heritage Implementation strategy for Booderee National Park
  • management of SLAs, including a WHS capacity building payment;
  • arrangements of leadership training and team building for staff;
  • progression of WHS policies including WHS Incident and Injury online forms and WHS Management System
  • negotiation of the payment of old debt by Parks Australia;
  • development of a checklist system for contract services staff to assist with better preparation of tax invoices;
  • development of a home ownership implementation strategy, the associated steps and the Ministerial submission.

WBACC's Team Building Daye had staff getting creative
WBACC's Team Building Daye had staff getting creative