Three new community development projects underway

Date: Jul 27, 2017

Publication Type: Newsroom

Subject: Community Planning & Development

Download News Article

It has been a busy and exciting time for the NLC’s Community Planning and Development Program, with the first three community development projects approved by Traditional owner groups.

Clancy Guthijpuy and Edna Gawudu discuss the joint venture idea, with Jimmy Marrkula looking on, Gapuwiyak 2017.

These projects have initiated strategic partnerships with locally recognised and trusted organisations.

The Malak Malak Traditional Owners on the Daly River over recent years decided to allocate more than $170,000 to community projects. This comes from income they receive from their intertidal fishing zone agreement with the Northern Territory Government. The group has been working with the Northern Land Council through the eight step community planning process, and in June approved their first two projects.  The first project involves support for funerals.  They will also partner with the NLC Malak Malak Ranger group to hold two culture camps on country for families, where elders can share their traditional knowledge with younger people. 

“I am looking forward to going to the culture camp, to maintain connection to our country, language and culture, sharing with our Elders and family. This is our university and our library. Education is knowledge, and knowledge is power" said Sheila White, Malak Malak Traditional Owner.
Further up in NE Arnhem Land, the Gupapuyngu-Liyalanmirri  group has also approved  its first project, after allocating more than $400,000 to community projects from income it receives from Section 19 leases in Gapuwiyak township. The first project will be to set up and manage a benevolent trust with assistance from Arnhem Land Progress Association. This is part of a longer term plan that will allow this group to engage in business opportunities, with the aim of providing training and jobs for local young people.

The NLC’s new Community Planning and Development Program now supports five pilot projects across the Top End, working with Traditional owners in the Daly River area, Ngukurr, Gapuwiyak, Galiwin’ku and the South East Arnhem Land Indigenous Protected Area. Endorsed by NLC Full Council in November 2016, the program aims to help Aboriginal people to drive their own development and secure benefits from their land, waters and seas, using income they receive from land use agreements. Traditional owners are showing strong interest in the program, seeing it as a way they can achieve their own development objectives, based on their priorities, knowledge and experience.