Cara Peek is a Yawuru/Bunuba woman, a lawyer, social innovator and entrepreneur committed to fostering access and opportunity for rural, regional and remote (RRR) communities.
Cara’s speciality is place-based, people-centred solutions with global reach. She has worked in the government, non-profit and corporate sectors before co-founding The Cultural Intelligence Project and founding non-profit Saltwater Country. Cara’s focus is providing access and opportunities to First Nations people to improve their social, emotional and economic well-being. She believes the success of the First Australians is the success of all Australians.
Saltwater Country is a multifaceted Indigenous lead organisation that builds on the symbolic power of the cowboy in remote Australia. A position of strength, where the freedom of the cowboy became the freedom of Indigenous people and their communities to find their own way. A story often untold is the story of Indigenous stock men and women who helped build the pastoral industry and the country. To this day Indigenous people maintain a living and working connection to the pastoral and rodeo ways of life whilst maintaining connection to country and culture.
Through Saltwater Country Cara endeavours to create a rite of passage for the Indigenous people in Northern Australia and eventually other RRR communities across the country. In particular, providing access and opportunities to young Indigenous people by building their resilience and strength and to encourage re-engagement in their lives.
As part of this work Cara is leading a collective of targeted programs and initiatives that celebrate the Kimberley Indigenous pastoral industry heritage. Such as, riding clinics, rural pathways, equine therapy partnerships, creative industry training (including photography, media, marketing, film) event, project and stock management; direct employment delivered in RRR communities with domestic and international pathways. It is anticipated that this will occur in a cross industry environment including music performance and production, media and marketing, risk and logistics, tourism and hospitality and agribusiness.
Cara hopes Saltwater Country will enable rural and regional industries, businesses and communities to survive and thrive. To overcome the tyranny of distance and be afforded the access and opportunities that they have a right to and deserve. Furthermore, an opportunity to have access to culturally and regionally relevant education, training and recreational opportunities all year round in their areas of interest.
Saltwater Country will also provide opportunities that inspire, excite and engage its participants. It will build sustainable pathways into rural and regional business and industries that support people to succeed, and also identify critical pathways to expedite genuine and long-lasting outcomes. It is these skills that will ultimately support people to stay on the land and regenerate sustainable communities and growing industries. Even more, it will drive happier, healthier and well-adjusted workers and community members with transferable skills, where their first choice is to stay and invest in RRR areas.
Focusing on people-centred and place-based solutions with global reach including large and small events and training programs, Cara aims to identify and provide teachable moments from beginning to end in a culturally safe learning environment. Saltwater Country will play an important role in the community, contributing to fellow community members and the economy with the ambition of delivering a positive impact across Northern Australia and the other RRR Australian communities enabling people to stay on the land without being disadvantaged. It is with this in mind she hopes that she can make a long lasting, material impact on the social fabric of RRR communities.
The Cultural Intelligence Project