“The future is our youth, our kids are growing up, and I’d like to see money spent on the kids in regards to education.”
Birrigan Gargle Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) is land-rich but dirt-poor.
Located in Yamba on the North Coast of NSW, it operates from an old gymnasium in Ngaru Villiage surrounded by abandoned and dilapidated houses while many of the occupied houses are in desperate need of repair.
But all that could soon change with plans to develop multi-residential sub-division lots on LALC Land at Illuka. Situated on the northern mouth of the Clarence River which meets the South Pacific Ocean, surrounded by Bundjalung National Park and a World Heritage-listed rainforest, it’s prime land.
Birrigan Gargle CEO Norma Collins says the joint venture with the Stevens Group is a highlight for the LALC who are close to signing off on the deal.
“I just can’t wait for it to get up and going, it’s just a big thing for the community. The better the place, the better the community and it’s just a big wish that we have,” she said.
Birrigan Gargle LALC is made up of about 146 members.
The main project they currently oversee is a homework centre for kids with support from NORTEC, TURSA, Employment and Training, Clarence Valley Council and volunteer high school teachers. They also encourage parents of the children to get involved.
“They’re lovely kids, they can be a bit moogul (mischievous) sometimes but they’re good kids.” Ms Collins said.
It runs every Tuesday afternoon and soon they hope to run the homework centre for two days a week.
“The future is our youth, our kids are growing up, and I’d like to see money spent on the kids in regards to education.” Ms Collins said.
Spending money on education will soon be more achievable once the property development deal is signed off.
It’s also envisaged that local Aboriginal people will be engaged during each phase of the development at Illuka.