Russell Jeffery, building relationships in the NT

Origin Regional Relationship Specialist, Russell Jeffrey, sees himself as the link between the local community and the company for our exploration work in the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory. An important role to make sure the communities where we work get the correct information and so we can hear any concerns they may have.

Born and raised in Darwin, and a proud Territorian, Russell focuses on building and maintaining relationships with the host Traditional Owners and Native Title holders for Origin’s permits. He also can’t hide his love for working in the bush. “I’ve been bush all my life, so I’ve got a natural affiliation with it.”

“I went out of my way to learn the process and get the real news, I suppose, and get the truth. And I’m very happy I did that and am comfortable in the fact it is safe.”

Getting the facts about our work

Like most Territorians, Russell has a relative view of distance, and what it’s like to work in more remote areas.

“If I get a phone call and they want to have a yarn about anything, or they want me to come on country and say hello, I can jump in the car and I’m six and a half hours away. It doesn’t worry me whether it’s the working week or a weekend. If there’s anything I can do to help I’ll certainly make sure I do.”

“I really feel that I’m a strong voice, and a strong advocate. They ask me questions; I give them the answers. And if I can’t, I find the answers for them. For me it’s about supplying the real facts behind what we do, and how we do it.” Russell said.

Russell recalls it wasn’t always that way when it comes to his own understanding and comfort about the gas industry and topics such as fracking.

“I went out of my way to learn the process and get the real news, I suppose, and get the truth. And I’m very happy I did that and am comfortable in the fact it is safe.”

Traditional Owners and our work in the Beetaloo Basin

Russell says host Traditional Owners are happy for Origin to be coming back and resuming work, which will see the opportunities and benefits begin to flow again for their families and communities.

“Every one of our Native Title holders has spoken strongly about wanting their kids, their grandkids to have the opportunities they didn’t have – because there aren’t a lot down this way, so for them it’s all about the now and the future for their kids and their grandkids to actually have some choices in life.”

“I’m extremely proud to be working for Origin on this project which offers so much; not just to our Traditional Owners and pastoralists.”

“I’m extremely proud to be working for Origin on this project which offers so much; not just to our Traditional Owners and pastoralists. I see this as a project that has so much to offer the whole of the Northern Territory – and being a Territorian that makes me extremely proud to be a part of,” Russell said.

Our Beetaloo operations

In mid-2014, we commenced a nine well shale gas exploration project in the Beetaloo Basin. In 2018, the Northern Territory Government lifted its moratorium on onshore gas production. Origin resumed operations in the Beetaloo Basin, after adopting the recommendations made by the recent Scientific Inquiry on fracking and gaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

Learn more about the Beetaloo Basin project.

You might also like