Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) Grant Funding

Funding Round Status: CLOSED

Opening Date: 31 July 2017

Closing Date:  28 August 2017

Next round opens: 27 February 2018

August 2017 ABA Beneficial Grant Funding Round

The ABA beneficial grants funding round is now closed.

It is anticipated all applicants will be notified of the outcome of the August 2017 ABA beneficial grant funding round around 14 weeks after the round has closed.

About the ABA

The ABA is legislated under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Land Rights Act) to receive and distribute royalty equivalent monies generated from mining on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory. ABA beneficial grant funding is provided for one-off grant funding (non-recurrent funding) proposals that benefit Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory.

Applicants should frame their proposal under one of the following ABA beneficial grant funding categories:

  • Supporting Enterprises
  • Supporting Community
  • Supporting Culture, Language and Leadership
  • Supporting Land, Sea and Waters Management and Use.

Further information on ABA grant funding categories is contained in Section 2.3 of the ABA Beneficial Grant Guidelines.

Funding under each category is available for Small Projects up to and including $250,000 (GST exclusive) or Large Projects over $250,000 (GST exclusive).

The ABA contributes to the Government's priorities for Indigenous Australians through:

  • Getting Indigenous Australians into work
  • Fostering Indigenous business
  • Ensuring Indigenous Australians receive economic and social benefits from the effective management of their land.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion (the Minister), has overall responsibility for the ABA. The Minister is the delegate (final decision maker) in relation to any proposals funded under ABA beneficial grants, taking into consideration the advice provided by the Department and the ABA Advisory Committee.

The Minister determines available ABA beneficial grant funding and the timing of grant funding rounds.

The ABA Advisory Committee

The ABA Advisory Committee is established under subsection 65(1) of the Land Rights Act to advise the Minister for Indigenous Affairs in connection with debiting the ABA for the purpose of making payments under subsection 64(4) of the Land Rights Act. The ABA Advisory Committee provides invaluable cultural and local advice to the Minister on which applications should be supported for ABA beneficial grant funding.

The ABA Advisory Committee consists of a Chair appointed by the Minister and 14 members elected by the four Northern Territory Land Councils. The members elected by the Northern Territory Land Councils must be Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory or whose names are set out in a register of Traditional Aboriginal Owners maintained by the relevant Land Council. Members comprise:

  • 7 from the Northern Land Council
  • 5 from the Central Land Council
  • 1 from the Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • 1 from the Tiwi Land Council.

Committee meetings

The Committee generally meets up to twice a year and may also meet on occasion at the request of the Department to consider policy matters or for strategic planning.


The Chair of the Committee is appointed by the Minister and is a part-time statutory office holder.

Ms Donna Ah Chee was appointed as Chair of the Committee by the Minister, for a term of three years from 1 July 2016.

Current Committee Members

Northern Land Council

  • Ms Lisa Mumbin
  • Mr James Sing
  • Mr Bunug Galaminda
  • Mr John Finlay
  • Mr Shadrack Retchford
  • Ms Virginia Nundhirribala
  • Ms Yananymul Mununggurr

Central Land Council

  • Ms Valerie Martin
  • Ms Barbara Shaw
  • Mr Harry Nelson
  • Mr Phillip Wilyuka
  • Mr Kelvin Morrison

Tiwi Land Council

  • Mr Andrew Tipungwuti

Anindilyakwa Land Council

  • Mr Tony Wurramarrba, AO (Chair)


The ABAAC met on 18-19 July 2017 to provide advice to the Department on a range of issues as well as undertake a high quality session on governance.

ABAAC message from the July 2017 meeting.

February 2017 ABA Beneficial Grant Funding Round

The Minister considered the advice provided by ABAAC and the Department on applications submitted through the February 2017 funding round. 

A list of organisations recommended for funding under the February 2017 ABA beneficial grant round is provided: ABA Funding February 2017 XLS 24 KB | PDF 98 KB

ABAAC message from the May 2017 meeting.

August 2016 ABA Beneficial Grant Funding Round

On 22 December 2016, the Minister announced remote and regional communities in the Northern Territory will benefit from up to $8.08 million worth of projects.  When finalised, these projects will help to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory.

The Minister instructed the Department to commence negotiating funding conditions with 32 organisations as a result of the August 2016 ABA beneficial grant funding round.

The Minister's media statement is available on the Minister’s website.

A list of organisations the Department is entering into negotiations with under the August 2016 ABA beneficial grant funding round is available below.  

September 2015 ABA Beneficial Grants Funding Round

The Minister announced the outcome of the September 2015 ABA grant funding round on 26 April 2016. The Minister's media statement is available on the Minister’s website.

A list of organisations recommended for funding under the September 2015 ABA beneficial grant round is provided: ABA Funding September 2015 XLS KB | PDF KB

Further details of each grant will be listed on the PM&C website within 14 days of the agreement taking effect, as required under the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

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