The NLC looks to local talent and the future with new head office

Date: Jul 21, 2022

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Business

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The NLC has reached an exciting stage in the development of its new Darwin head office at 29 Julius Street, Berrimah.

After an exhaustive process of consultations with NLC Council Members and staff on the design of the purpose-built facility, and reviewing countless potential locations over three years, the collective project team has reached the 30% phase of the detailed design.

NLC Chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi said he welcomes interest in the project and is proud to see the new eco-friendly office precinct take shape.

“We are excited by the design, which will create a sense of place and belonging to NLC’s staff, visitors and Full Council members. The facility will celebrate Top End Aboriginal culture within the design,” Mr Bush-Blanasi said.

NLC has outgrown its current premises at 45 Mitchell Street in the Darwin CBD, leased since 2007, with additional office space leased in an adjacent building to accommodate staff overflow. Other NLC staff are located at Winnellie providing fleet management services.

NLC CEO Mr Joe Martin-Jard noted the benefits of bringing together staff from all three locations.

“Having a new head office – one that is not leased and in a single location - will generate cost savings in the long run, while providing a strong focus on local labour, supplies and services. The economic impacts of the new office precinct to the NT economy will extend beyond the design and construction phase through permanent job creation.”

NLC engaged Territory-based Ashford Architects to undertake the detailed design phase.

Mr Bush-Blanasi said key design components of the new facility include a resource centre to showcase historical books, documents and films, which will be accessible to the public, a reception that welcomes educational and cultural exchanges, and warehousing, workshop and storage facilities to support NLC fleet management and program administration functions.

Mr Martin-Jard said the new head office will complement NLC’s long-term regionalisation strategy.

“With our 50th Anniversary coming up next year and only a small number of land claims remaining to be finalised, the NLC is about to enter a new phase.”

“Our strategy is to consolidate Darwin-based staff and corporate functions in Berrimah and focus our operational footprint across our seven regions and 51,000 Aboriginal constituents living in over 200 communities, homelands and outstations.” 

“This will enable us to provide better support to our constituents while maintaining Darwin as a base for engagement with government and industry.” Mr Martin-Jard said. 

Mr Bush-Blanasi said he looks forward to the next phase of the project where it is anticipated a development permit will be obtained and the construction phase of the project will be tendered. 

“This is an exciting time for the Northern Land Council. We are looking to the next 50 years and planning for the future now,” said Mr Bush-Blanasi.

The project is being funded through the Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA). The ABA is a special account legislated under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 for a range of purposes, including to support the operational and capital requirements of the four Northern Territory land councils.