Facilitate targeted Aboriginal community development initiatives with the traditional owners and other clients of the CLC.
The CLC’s community development program helps Aboriginal groups investing income from land use agreements, such as rent, royalty, leasing and compensation payments, to develop their communities. It works with the groups to plan and implement community-driven projects that maintain identities, languages, cultures and connections to country, strengthen governance and improve health, education and employment outcomes.
Its effective and flexible community development approach employs processes that ensure residents and traditional owners control assets, projects and programs. It aims to build individual and collective capacity, self-reliance, good governance and stronger communities, as outlined in its community development framework.
The program started in 2005 and now employs 16 staff. It is active in all 31 communities in the CLC region, and works with traditional owner groups from 15 national parks, and five other groups that allocate income to community benefit projects.
It also works with communities in South Australia where traditional owners of the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park live, and with the Western Australian communities of Balgo, Billiluna and Ringers Soak that receive compensation income from the Granites Mine Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation. It works with six major regional income streams and a growing number of smaller sources of mostly mining-related income.
Since 2005 these groups committed approximately $139 million to more than 1900 projects ranging from multi-million-dollar multi-year initiatives to small infrastructure projects. These investments have attracted millions of dollars in co-contributions from government, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from mining company, the Newmont Corporation.
Independent monitoring of the program by La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change, during 2018–19, confirmed the high-value Aboriginal participants place on the outcomes these projects have achieved. The report also considered the program’s future directions, because constituents asked for the CLC to work harder to show all levels of government how they would like them to work with Aboriginal people. As one participant from the Tanami region put it: “We talked about how we can lobby government to get engaged and start listening. I think government could learn how to work better, more equal, with Yapa, like CLC work with Yapa.”
In 2019–20 Aboriginal groups committed $16.6 million to 153 new projects following 267 consultations. These figures are down from the previous year, largely because the groups could not meet with the CLC during the pandemic biosecurity restrictions.
These projects created 32,107 hours of employment for 470 Aboriginal people and delivered more than 1,037 accredited training hours. They supported 78 students through boarding school.
More and more constituents want to tell their stories to a broader audience. The CLC published two editions of Community Development News to showcase projects and inspire pride and ideas. Four participants in the community development program, including CLC chair, Sammy Wilson, presented at the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care conference in Adelaide.
Table 23. Community development income streams, 2019–20
Uluru rent money project
Use rent paid to traditional owners of the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park for a range of sustainable regional initiatives
Warlpiri Education and Training Trust
Using mining royalties of The Granites gold mine in the Southern Tanami for sustainable education, training and employment benefits
Tanami Dialysis Support Project (Kurra AC)
Use interest earned on mining royalties of The Granites mine to support dialysis facilities and patient support services in remote communities in the Southern Tanami
Granites Mine Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation (GMAAAC)
Use affected area monies from The Granites mine to support nine communities in the Southern Tanami to apply those monies toward broad community benefit activities.
NT Parks Rent Money Project
Use rent paid to traditional owners of national parks, conservation and nature reserves for a range of sustainable initiatives.
Community Lease Money Project
Use rent paid for community leases to members of 31 communities for a diverse range of community benefit projects.
Other Income Streams
Use mainly new and smaller payments linked to mining and exploration for a variety of community benefit projects.
Table 24. Summary of income streams and projects, 2005–20
Total under managementat 30 June 2020*
Uluru rent money project
Warlpiri Education and Training Trust
Tanami Dialysis Support Project (Kurra Aboriginal Corporation)
Granites Mine Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation (GMAAAC)
NT Parks Rent Money Project
Community Lease Money Project
Other Income Streams
* includes projects continuing from previous years
The CLC works with Aboriginal groups to prioritise, plan and develop community benefit projects and to identify partner organisations that can help to implement the projects. Once a group makes a decision, the CLC’s CEO reviews the consultation process and signs off on the project proposal and funding allocation. The CLC then negotiates funding agreements with partner organisations and manages the project and the agreement. It also monitors and evaluates the project by measuring its outcomes against each group’s expectations.
ULURU RENT MONEY PROJECT
The traditional owner group of the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park was among the first to work with the community development unit, in 2006. The unit invests the rent from park leases and gate fees in community benefit projects in the Mutitjulu community inside the park, as well as in projects across the region. Two groups collectively allocated more than $1,480,300 to fund nine community benefit projects during the period.
The project’s regional traditional owners’ group met three times during 2019–20. Their working group met twice to prioritise and plan the projects, followed by a meeting of traditional owners to decide and allocate money. The group plans and funds projects aligned with a priority theme the group chooses each year. It monitors projects funded under the previous years’ priority themes and decides whether to keep funding them.
The priority theme for 2019–20 was cemetery upgrades. The group allocated more than $513,200 to repair or fence cemeteries in Amata, Pukatja (Ernabella), Yunjarinji (Kenmore Park), Young’s Well, Imanpa, Utju (Areyonga), Ulpanyali and Mutitjulu. Such repairs and updates will stop feral animals from getting into cemeteries and damaging graves, create shade for funeral services, and record, document and restore graves. The residents said the projects will help them to remember and honour their loved ones, their history and cultural knowledge.
The group decided to continue to fund a secondary education support project. It invested more than $335,000 in initiatives supporting 13 young people to remain in high school, including boarding schools. One of these students successfully completed Year 12. It invested an additional $220,000 in a bilingual support project with the Tangentyere Council in Utju, Mutitjulu and outstations in the Watarrka National Park. It also paid the Ara Irititja social history database project $5,900 to print 100 resource booklets of the related Ara Winki digital app for eight schools in the region, to help transmit cultural knowledge to the students.
Five of these projects created a total of almost 1,300 hours of employment for 12 Aboriginal people.
The Uluru Rent Money project’s Mutitjulu working group manages initiatives the community has prioritised, such as Mutitjulu Tjurpinytjaku Centre (swimming pool), sporting facility upgrades, and Anangu culture. The group continued to fund the pool’s operation and secured tenure over a lot for a pool manager’s house. The construction has been put out to tender and is due to commence in the second half of 2020. In September 2019 members of the working group and the pool’s steering committee set up an Aboriginal corporation to manage the house and the pool in line with community expectations.
The working group also funded significant upgrades to turn the community’s ceremony ground and the adjacent former adult education centre into a space for cultural activities and events. The ceremony ground’s dance area has been repaired and a concrete stage and shade shelters for performers have been added. Structural repairs of the education centre have commenced. The community plans to host NAIDOC and other events and teach inma (ceremonial song and dance) to the younger generation. The $375,000 project is managed by the Mutitjulu Community Aboriginal Corporation and aims to strengthen local culture and ownership of community spaces and provide local employment.
WARLPIRI EDUCATION AND TRAINING TRUST
Warlpiri teachers and traditional owners of the site of Newmont’s mine in the Tanami set up the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust (WETT) in 2005 to invest mining royalties in education and training for the residents of Lajamanu, Nyirrpi, Willowra and Yuendumu.
The Kurra Aboriginal Corporation, whose members are traditional owners of the site, is the WETT trustee. Kurra directors meets twice a year to consider the recommendations of a WETT advisory committee and make funding decisions about WETT programs. The committee consists of four representatives from each of the four communities, a representative from Newmont and a representative from the CLC. It meets three times a year to design, plan and monitor WETT-funded programs and recommends funding priorities to the corporation. The CLC administers the trust and contracts project partners to implement approved projects.
Figure 8. Governance structure of the Warlpiri Education and Training Trust
On World Teacher Day 2019 eight advisory committee members received awards from NT Education Minister Selena Uibo for their long and committed contributions to education. Advisory committee members also attended and presented at three conferences: the PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference in August, the SNAICC conference in September and the Snapshot of SNAICC conference in October 2019.
The Kurra directors allocated more than $3,744,000 across the WETT’s programs: children and families, language and culture in schools, secondary school support, youth development and the community learning centres.
The trust contracted World Vision Australia to deliver a playgroup program at Willowra from January 2020.
Following a smooth transition, World Vision delivered the service to 21 of the community’s 22 under-five-year-olds. Nine children attended regularly. A playgroup reference group met regularly and, of the centre’s six Aboriginal staff, two were enrolled in a Certificate III in children’s services.
In January 2020 the trust contracted the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation, which operates the Yuendumu learning centre, to also manage the Lajamanu learning centre with its four Aboriginal employees. The Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education improved its management of the learning centres in Willowra and Nyirrpi by providing stronger community governance and training, such as the driver education program, Back on Track.
The CLC contracted the Nous Group on behalf of the WETT to evaluate the WYDAC’s youth development program. The completed evaluation included consultations in the four communities and a workshop in Yuendumu to discuss findings and program priorities. The evaluation found that the communities are happy with the program model and identified 13 recommendations to strengthen its delivery.
Three of the schools involved in the WETT’s language and culture in schools program conducted a week-long country visit in 2019. The Warlpiri theme cycle project also continued to align the Warlpiri curriculum with the NT’s Aboriginal language and culture framework.
The trust continued to fund the Yuendumu early childhood reference group to participate in trauma awareness workshops, governance support activities and a study trip to present at a conference of the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care in September 2019.
The NT Education Department engaged the WETT and the CLC to develop a local decision-making strategy for the schools of the four communities.
The secondary school support program funded education expenses of 25 boarding school students, while students in the Tanami took part in excursions to Perth, Melbourne, Cairns and Darwin.
Advisory committee members and Kurra directors commenced work on a monitoring and evaluation framework at a design workshop, with consultants from La Trobe University and CLC staff.
TANAMI DIALYSIS SUPPORT PROJECT
In 2019 the Kurra directors allocated $660,000 from their social investment funds for the construction of a dialysis clinic in Nyirrpi. The Western Desert Nganampa Waltja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (the Purple House) was selected to deliver the project with co-funding from the Granites Mine Affected Areas Aboriginal Corporation (GMAAAC). Kurra has historically used interest on investments to fund the operational costs of the Yuendumu and Lajamanu dialysis services, however, since the Australian Government introduced a Medicare rebate for remote dialysis services in 2018, the Purple House no longer needs support with these running costs. Kurra is instead investing in building dialysis units in communities that don’t have a dialysis service.
GRANITES MINE AFFECTED AREA ABORIGINAL CORPORATION
The GMAAAC allocates half of its compensation income into community benefit projects in the nine affected Tanami communities every year. The corporation invests the other half to ensure the communities continue to benefit after the mine closes. The nine communities elect GMAAAC committees and their directors every three years. The committees work with the CLC to develop projects and investments that are in line with the corporation’s objectives: to improve housing, health, education, essential services, employment and training, and Aboriginal self-management. GMAAAC directors are responsible for the corporation’s investment and the governance of the corporation.
The corporation is now the largest income stream within the community development program. Its income increased from $7.3 million to just under $10 million during the period and is predicted to increase further, due to the expansion of Newmont’s forecast mining operations until 2040. Last financial year the CLC facilitated 16 GMAAAC committee meetings, 10 community meetings, two elections and 47 community consultations. GMAAAC committees approved almost $7,346,800 million for 78 new projects and executed 38 project agreements.
GMAAAC directors participated in a good-governance program for a second year. The training aims to help them make decisions about future investment opportunities. The directors agreed to fund an assessment of the rules governing the CLC’s funeral, sorry and ceremony projects, aimed at updating the terms of the agreement in line with community needs.
Community development projects managed by the nine committees prioritise local enterprise and employment. During 2019–20 the projects employed 289 Yapa for a total of 18,259 hours. The projects support arts and culture (museums, ceremony grounds, cultural mapping, music programs and cultural festivals), education (school nutrition, language support and school pastoral care projects) and infrastructure (building upgrades, outstation and access road maintenance).
The CLC managed 114 projects that started in previous years. It processed payments, helped partner organisations to submit reports and financial acquittals, and supported the GMAAAC committees to review project outcomes and compliance with project agreements.
Willowra and Nyirrpi elected new GMAAAC committees. Directors appointed by the committees have been inducted into GMAAAC governance.
Lajamanu’s GMAAAC committee paid for the grading of more than 200 kilometres of outstation roads. The initiative facilitates better access to outstations and the land management work of the local ranger group. The drilling of a new bore at Emu Bore outstation and the installation of a submersible solar pump and a new generator were completed with funding from Nyirrpi’s GMAAAC committee.
The Tanami Downs GMAAAC committee continued to restore infrastructure and services to the outstation. It funded the construction of a community meeting space, repairs of the communal toilets and plumbing works.
Yuelamu’s GMAAAC committee funded a school excursion for 18 students and three staff. The students travelled to Melbourne in December 2019 as a reward for their efforts and participated in the interactive displays at the Melbourne Museum.
Yuendumu’s GMAAAC committee contributed to the upgrade of the community’s op shop and laundry, and funded the operation of these services. It also committed multiple years of funding to ongoing projects, such as the Yuendumu school linguist, the bilingual resource development unit, and the school nutrition, dog health, and sports academy programs.
NT PARKS RENT PROJECT
Traditional owner groups working with the CLC’s NT parks rent money project invest all the rent and income they receive for 16 national parks in longterm community benefit projects. The groups want to maintain, visit and live at their outstations. Most of their projects, therefore, feature employment and training of residents to upgrade outstation infrastructure, while some support people to access education, cultural maintenance and funeral expenses. They have allocated $10.56 million to 240 projects since 2010.
In 2019–20 the CLC undertook 100 consultations with the groups – five more than during the previous year. The groups approved almost $1,160,800 for 21 new community benefit projects. The projects employed seven people who worked a total of almost 278 hours. The CLC executed 21 new agreements with project partners and managed a further 60 projects which continued from previous years.
Southern Judbarra National Park traditional owners living in Lingarra allocated more than $41,800 to meeting shelter and diesel support projects for their outstation, which can be cut off from the outside world for up to six months during the wet season. The diesel support project ensures that the generator powering the outstation does not run out of diesel. The Victoria Daley Regional Council is managing both projects.
The Williams family continued to support the maintenance and development of their outstation, Uluperte, with income from the East MacDonnell National Park. The group invested almost $247,200 in a new three-bedroom house. The sum also covers maintenance and plumbing repairs, air conditioners and solar hot water systems for two existing dwellings.
The traditional owners of the Arltunga Historical Reserve commenced two projects at the Pantharrpilenhe outstation, allocating almost $63,900 to a communal shade shelter project, and up to $44,000 to an ablutions block.
The Iwupataka Water Aboriginal Corporation continued to work with Aboriginal social enterprise Tangentyere Design on water infrastructure upgrades, a project started in 2014. The corporation is part of the project’s steering committee and received a $2,025,100 capital works grant from the ABA in 2019. ASPLUM & CIVIL won the tender for the construction component of the project and completed it in June 2020.
The traditional owner group for the Native Gap Conservation Reserve met three times to plan and allocate funds for a communal meeting space with an outdoor kitchen at Burt Creek and two sheds at the newly established Anpanaye outstation. These projects are expected to be completed in 2020.
The Palm Paddock group invested income from the Finke Gorge National Park in the upkeep of the old ranger station at Palm Valley and Palm Paddock outstation. It funded both repairs and maintenance at the ranger station over which it holds a sublease to run a tourism enterprise, and fencing at Palm Paddock, to be installed and maintained by the outstation residents. The residents plan to muster cleanskin cattle from the adjacent Finke Gorge National Park.
COMMUNITY LEASE MONEY PROJECT
One-off compensation payments for the compulsory leases taken out during the NT emergency response, and ongoing lease income from government and non-government organisations for community facilities, make up the bulk of the income of this project. It commenced in 2012 with 31 communities. The CLC helped the communities to set up groups prioritising and planning projects and to find and contract partners implementing the projects.
The communities have since allocated more than $14,287,200 of their compensation income and more than $4,322,100 of their lease money towards 383 community benefit projects. Of the original 31 communities seven have completed community development projects funded with their compensation payments and 24 have continued to commit lease income to community- driven projects.
In 2019–20 the project facilitated 17 group and 10 community meetings and funded 24 projects costing a total of almost $795,700. Four of the projects contributed a total of 5,485 hours of employment for 19 Aboriginal people.
Ntaria (Hermannsburg) invested almost $721,000 in the construction and running costs of club rooms for the Hermannsburg Football Club. The club rooms comprise a multi-purpose community space with a kitchen, bathroom and washing machines. The Alekarenge Wi-Fi hotspot project cost more than $8,100 and delivers free internet access to the residents. It contributes to a safe youth hub and allows residents to use online services, such as internet banking.
Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) invested $407,000 in low- maintenance LED lights at the community’s football oval. The local working group initially paid for a feasibility study to determine the construction scope of work.
The Atyenhenge-Atherre Aboriginal Corporation will operate the lights for three years.
The Kintore community funded the installation and regular maintenance of rainwater tanks at two outstations. This $56,000 project supports families to return to their country and develop a CLC ranger group.
OTHER INCOME STREAMS
The CLC promoted its community development program to Aboriginal people negotiating exploration, mining and other land use agreements. It held 16 meetings to consult and plan with groups interested in investing income from such agreements in community-driven projects.
Of the 13 traditional owner groups receiving income from the extensive Statoil exploration lease in the Plenty region, one allocated $209,000 to community benefit projects.
Of the seven traditional owner groups that will receive income from a proposed mine at Mount Peake, three allocated at least $250,000 to community benefit projects. This income would significantly increase, should the mine go into production.
The CLC met with the native title holders affected by the proposed Nolans Bore mine. It consulted with the smaller estate groups about committing some of their future income to community benefit projects. Two groups are scheduled to make decisions in July 2020.
The CLC also works with 13 other groups using small amounts of investment or exploration compensation income for community benefit projects. It did not execute any new project agreements during this period but managed a number of ongoing projects from previous years, with a combined value of more than $1,036,600. Two new groups allocated almost $392,700 to community benefit projects and set up governance structures to plan and implement them.
Figure 9. Community development projects, 2016–20
Figure 10. Total funds committed to community development projects, 2005–20