A large proportion of the WETT Advisory Committee are members who founded the trust, some of whom have been on the committee for over 10 years.
This is a major strength – the collective corporate memory members share means the group is well informed to plan and make decisions. This also presents a vulnerability into the future however, as long serving committee members make plans for retirement or are no longer able to serve on the committee due to ill health.
The WETT Advisory Committee recognised that it was crucial for younger people to join and have the opportunity to be mentored into their role by experienced members. They developed and implemented a plan to ensure strong Yapa leadership continued into the future.
The WETT Advisory Committee had 19 members: 16 to represent the four Warlpiri communities of Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Willowra and Nyirrpi (four committee members from each of the four Warlpiri communities) and three to represent stakeholder organisations. In 2018, four new committee positions were created and made available to young leaders. One young person from each community was nominated to join through an election process.
An induction program was developed to support new members joining the WETT Advisory Committee. The program prioritised experienced committee members inducting the new members and providing guidance through sharing their stories and experiences. The induction included an introduction to WETT [history and vision for the future, current programs, money story, governance structure] and an introduction to governance [two-way governance, rules and responsibilities, running a good meeting, making good decisions, leadership and succession planning].
- Plan ahead for what will happen if the current governing members retire
- Stage director succession so not all the organisational knowledge and history leaves at the same time
- Existing members can support new members to ‘learn the ropes’