The NLC is working with Traditional owners across the Top End on six pilot projects through the Community Planning and Development Program.
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 help. This money comes from an inter-tidal fishing zone agreement with the Northern Territory Government.
In June 2017, they approved their first project - to hold two culture camps on country. They have partnered with the NLC’s Malak Malak Ranger group to run these camps.
In May 2018 Yak Dimininh traditional owners took the major step of setting aside a large amount of their lease income to strengthen the Wadeye community. Their top priority is to support young people to learn about culture, and to get a good education and employment so they can look forward to a positive future. Fixing up the cemetery and public spaces in Wadeye is also important to traditional owners. Their plan is to get young people involved in doing these upgrades so they get training and employment along the way.
Rak Papangala traditional owners in the Palumpa area have a vision of living back on their traditional country. In July 2018 they committed funds from Section 19 leases towards that vision, and have already started planning for a new outstation.
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 almost $500,000 to invest in making their community a better place. Their first priority is to create training and employment opportunities for their young people through setting up businesses. In June 2017, they planned and approved their first project which will set up and manage a benevolent trust with assistance from partner Arnhem Land Progress Association. Getting a Traditional Owner corporate structure in place and building its governance capacity will lay a strong foundation for future business ventures.
Galiwin’ku Traditional Owners from numerous clans started working with the NLC’s CP&D Program in April 2017. Less than six months later they have planned and allocated over $600,000 of their community lease income for urgently needed youth projects.
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.
For the next two years Traditional Owners will partner with the East Arnhem Shire Council to support youth diversion, sport and recreation activities, and Yalu Marnggithinyaraw Indigenous Corporation to run raypirri (respect and discipline) camps with children. The NLC will work closely with these organisations to make sure projects are delivered in line with Traditional Owner plans.
Milwarapara-Yutpundji Traditional owners are well on the way to achieving their vision for a better community with plans almost completed in three areas. The first plan is to use some of the community lease money set aside in late 2016 to get young people more engaged at the school by fixing up the school oval. Projects are also being prepared to build an ablution block at the community church, and to develop a nearby outstation.
South East Arnhem Land Fire Abatement Project
Every year the Yugul Mangi and Numbulwar Numburindi Rangers manage fire on their country. This country covers a vast area and includes the newly declared South East Arnhem Indigenous Protected Area. 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. Planning is underway to spend some of this money on community projects. The rangers and IPA Advisory Committee are interested in improving ranger facilities and creating more ranger employment opportunities, especially for women and young people. They also have an exciting vision for a major cultural project which will involve cultural mapping of the SEAL IPA and inter-generational knowledge transfer.
Victoria River District Region
Project Sea Dragon, Legune Station
Near the border with WA, native title holders have signed an Indigenous Land Use agreement with SeaFarms Group Limited. There are plans to build a prawn grow-out facility at Legune, which has the potential to deliver significant royalties and other benefits if it goes ahead. The three Native Title Holding groups - Gajerrong-DjarranyDjarrany, Gajerrong-Wadaynbang and Gajerrong-Gurrbijim – are getting on the front foot and starting work on long-term development strategies with support from the NLC.