Community Planning & Development Projects
CP&D projects are being delivered in eight locations across the NLC region. Projects have a strong focus on maintaining culture and language, supporting youth and constructing community infrastructure.
Malak Malak Traditional Owners in the Daly River region led the way back in 2015 when they decided to set aside some of their income for community development purposes and asked the NLC for support.
Their money for community development comes from an agreement with the Northern Territory Government that allows fishing access to the Daly River on their Aboriginal Land Trust.
The group’s first project was to fund two culture camps on Malak Malak country. These camps were delivered in partnership with the NLC’s Malak Malak Rangers and were a great success in facilitating people to get out on country – reconnecting, sharing knowledge and stories. The group has since refunded the project to continue for another season of culture camps.
Carrying on the theme of sharing culture and knowledge of the region, Traditional Owners also funded the production of brochures and information signage to help inform visitors to the Daly River region. Most recently Traditional Owners partnered with The Language Conservancy and developed a Language Learning Mobile App. The App was funded out of concern that only five fluent language speakers remained, and provides another way for more Malak Malak TOs to learn their language and keep it alive for the next generation.
The group is looking to build on their existing projects, with ideas for a culture centre and a talking dictionary project in the pipeline for the coming year – again projects that support their vision to share and preserve their language and cultural identity.
In May 2018, Yak Dimininh Traditional Owners took the major step of setting aside a large amount of their lease income for community development projects. Their focus is on supporting skill development and employment opportunities and ensuring young people have a solid grounding in culture and education.
In late 2018 Traditional Owners approved their first community development project, which involves visiting sacred sites and sharing knowledge amongst their family and younger generations to build a strong cultural foundation.
In 2019 Traditional Owners completed their second project – improvements at the local cemetery to create better and larger amenities, while also increasing local employment opportunities.
Traditional Owners are looking to build on this work and are planning more community development projects that achieve outcomes for their community and deliver training and employment along the way.
Rak Papangala Traditional Owners in the Palumpa region had a long-term vision of living back on their traditional clan land. They have a strong belief that being on country will help their young people to learn traditional cultural knowledge and to be culturally safe.
In July 2018 they committed income from their gravel lease agreement towards their vision and carefully planned an outstation project – including a bush track to the site, the installation of a bore and tank, and a house to live in on their homeland. With planning and project management support from CP&D, the outstation was completed in late 2019 and the group promptly moved in.
To ensure their homeland is kept in good repair for generations to come, the Rak Papangala TOs have funded a Repairs and Maintenance project with the limited lease money they have remaining, a project that will be delivered by West Daly Regional Council.
Traditional Owners have realised their vision and self-funded the establishment of an outstation to facilitate their continued connection with their country and cultural identity for generations to come.
East Arnhem Region
Gupapuyngu-Liyalanmirri Traditional Owners in Gapuwiyak receive income from township leases. In April 2017 they took the major step of setting aside money to invest in enhancing their community.
In June 2017, they planned and approved funding for their first project, and set up Milintji Developments Pty Ltd with assistance from project partner Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA).
After the Milintji Development Trust was established in late 2019, Traditional Owners approved an additional project, partnering with Matrix Consulting and Training to build their governance capacity and understanding of ‘Milintji’. Their goal in this governance work is to lay a strong foundation, and develop a clear strategic plan to then embark on future business ventures that provide jobs and training for their young people and their community.
The group is also currently supporting employment in Gapuwiyak, through a project they have funded since 2018 for CDP participants to be paid wages for their work as house painters in Gapuwiyak. They are partnering with the local CDP provider, ALPA to deliver this project and ALPA are providing tailored training to support the crew in their painting skills development and business understanding.
Galiwin’ku Traditional Owners from numerous clans started working with the NLC’s CP&D Program in April 2017. Over three years they have planned and allocated money from their community leases for urgently needed youth projects and a law and justice project.
This has been achieved through a series of clan consultations in different locations to make sure all Traditional Owner groups could have their say on what was most important to them. Concern about young people and the need to provide more positive activities for them was high on almost everyone’s agenda.
Traditional Owners are partnering with the East Arnhem Regional Council (EARC) to support youth diversion, sport and recreation activities, and with Yalu Marnggithinyaraw Indigenous Corporation to run raypirri (respect and discipline) camps with children. The Milingimbi Outstations Progress Association is providing logistical support for raypirri camps run by Traditional Owners on Murruŋga Island. To encourage school attendance, Traditional Owners are also co-funding adventure school playground equipment with the local school, Shepherdson College.
Also concerned about legal issues, Traditional Owners have developed a strong partnership with North Australia Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) to support Yolngu going through the justice system and improve knowledge of the Western law system and how it interacts with Yolgnu law.
Milwarapara-Yutpundji Traditional Owners are well on the way to achieving their vision for a better community. The group has used some of the community lease money set aside in both 2016 and 2018 to improve community facilities, and are researching their next priority ideas for more community development projects.
The Traditional Owners have successfully built a brand new toilet block facility at their local church and proudly installed an outstation sign at the Kewulyi community.
Traditional Owners are keen to strengthen existing community facilities and in 2019 decided to enhance the local oval with new perimeter fencing, aluminium seating, and solid-steel shade areas. They are partnering with Yugul Mangi Development Aboriginal Corporation to deliver the project, which is creating local jobs and training opportunities.
There are a number of exciting new projects that Traditional Owners are currently investigating. These include setting up an Op Shop to provide affordable clothing in town, supporting elders through improved aged care facilities, and upgrading the airstrip waiting area to improve community safety, possibly with a new toilet block and an improved waiting area and facilities.
South East Arnhem Land Indigenous Protected Area
Every year the Yugul Mangi and Numbulwar Numburindi Rangers manage fire on the South East Arnhem Indigenous Protected Area (IPA). The rangers get carbon credits for their work and make income when the credits are sold, through the South East Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (SEALFA) project.
The rangers and IPA Advisory Committee have set aside some of this income for community development projects. In May 2018 they approved funding for their first project to deliver two culture camps. Partnering with the local ranger groups in Ngukurr and Numbulwar, these camps focus on engaging young people and enhancing inter-generational knowledge transfer. The first camp was a great success with the Ngukurr Language Centre and local school involved too!
In 2019 the group partnered with Tamarind Consulting for their second project, to deliver targeted training and strengthen the capacity of local people in meeting organisation and project planning.
Now the Advisory Committee is continuing their strong commitment to supporting culture in the region. A dry season program of on-country excursions is being planned to improve the lives of elderly and disabled people in Ngukurr & Numbulwar. The Advisory Committee sees that visiting country will enhance the wellbeing of aged and disabled people, increase story-telling and knowledge transfer.
The group is also focused on improving the interaction and harmony between locals and those visiting the area and are researching a cultural awareness project to increase respectful and best practice two-way relationships.
Victoria River District Region
At Legune Station in the north west of the VRD, Native Title Holders are developing their communities through an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with Seafarms Group Limited.
Seafarms plans to build a prawn grow-out facility at Legune Station, which will deliver royalties and other benefits if it goes ahead. The three Native Title Holding groups - Gajerrong-DjarraDjarrany, Gajerrong-Wadanybang and Gajerrong-Gurrbijim – are getting on the front foot and starting work on long-term development strategies using the Community Planning and Development Program.
The first development project has been an upgrade of Marralum homeland. The upgrade is now complete, with repairs and new kitchens in three existing houses and a new ablution block, solar power and a clean water supply. Local DjarranDjarrany people were employed to do this work, developing their building skills while living on country.
Native Title Holders are now getting on with other projects, including a project to support children who have travelled to cities to improve their education. Further projects are being planned including bush trips to share cultural knowledge across the generations.
Dec 9, 2019
Native Title holders have been working with the NLC's Community Planning and Development (CP&D) Program to complete an upgrade of their outstation at Marralum on Legune Station.
Jul 10, 2020
Evellena Wanambi loves her job as a Youth Sport and Recreation (YSR) Officer at the East Arnhem Regional Council in Galiwin’ku. Thanks to funding provided by Galiwin’ku traditional owners, she is employed to support young people in her community to reach their potential.
May 13, 2022
Aboriginal groups continue to work with the NLC’s Community Planning and Development (CP&D) team to drive their own development. Through the CP&D Program Aboriginal groups use their land use agreement income to do projects that bring lasting community benefit.