Building economic capacity after gaining Native Title

Building economic capacity after gaining Native Title

Indigenous Affairs
Monday, 29 October 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Image: From left: Julie Gava (PMC Lismore), Warren Williams (BAC Director) & Wendy Ruttley (PMC Lismore) seated around a desk

The Bandjalang people of Far North Coast of NSW gained Native Title over their ancestral lands in 2013.

The Bandjalang Aboriginal Corporation Prescribed Body Corporate was the first organisation in their region to sign a funding agreement with the Australian Government.

They received $325,000 from the Prescribed Bodies Corporate funding to build their capacity to maximise the economic and social potential of their land.

The project commenced in January 2018 and operates from Coraki NSW, the heart of the Bandjalang Native Title Land. The project will help to establish a subsidiary business in land management, professional business support and governance mentoring.

The last 6 months has been busy with the recruitment of an Aboriginal Business Manager, establishment of a land management work crew and the employment of 9 casual workers.

Bandjalang Aboriginal Corporation Prescribed Body Corporate has secured 3 small contracts with two Aboriginal organisations and one with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services.

The Corporation has built a relationship with Richmond Valley Council and secured an old State Emergency Services shed to store machinery and equipment - proudly known in the community as the ‘Bandjalang Land Management Contracting Depot’.

The Corporation is in discussion with the Council for contracts in the management of local parks within native title boundaries.

As new contracts are generated, more part-time jobs are being created. The Corporation has set its goal for full-time employment for their staff by 2019.

The Corporation acknowledges that being direct descendants of the Traditional Owners and sharing their cultural knowledge, has had a positive impact on their work in their own community and on their own land.

It brings a sense of pride to the community.

Find out more about how Native Title Corporations can apply for capacity building funding.

Image: From left: Julie Gava (PMC Lismore), Warren Williams (BAC Director) & Wendy Ruttley (PMC Lismore)