Three Local Aboriginal Land Councils share in NSWALC Community Fund – Western Region

Three Local Aboriginal Land Councils share in NSWALC Community Fund

14 November 2016 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) today announced Community Fund grants had been awarded to three Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) in the Western region.

NSWALC Councillor for Western Region William Murray said Menindee, Tibooburra and Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Councils had been selected in the latest round of the Community Fund.

Cr Murray said the Community Fund provided grants of up to $50,000 for LALCs to purchase and mange land, protect culture and care for country.

"The Community Fund is generated through a levy on Local Aboriginal Land Council land dealings and matched with contributions by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.

"Some of our Local Aboriginal Land Councils hold more valuable land holdings than those with less land and development opportunities.

"The Community Fund ensures eligible Local Aboriginal Land Councils can share in the wealth of those that enjoy a stronger economic base," Cr Murray said.

About the projects

Menindee

Menindee Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Noelene Ferguson said the Community Fund grant would help upgrade the LALC building.

"The Menindee Local Aboriginal Land Council building is an important location for community meetings and workshops.

"We haven't had the resources to upgrade the building since it was built in 1994 so the Community Fund grant from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council will make a huge difference," she said.

Tibooburra

Don Stephens from the Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council said the Community Fund grant would assist with the expansion of the LALC's Museum and Keeping Place.

"Since it was established in 2001, the Museum and Keeping Place has received an increasing number of visitors and more space is needed to display artefacts and plan for future acquisitions.

"The expansion will more than double the display and incorporate the latest audio-visual technology.

"Visitors now seek a more interactive and personal explanation of Aboriginal culture so this Community Fund grant will help us better meet those expectations.

"Aboriginal people whose ancestors lived around Tibooburra in 1938 are increasingly interested in learning about their heritage.

"We also receive regular visits from locals, schools and university students," Mr Stephens said.

Wilcannia

Upgrade Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Thwaites said the Community Fund grant would help with expansion plans for the LALC.

"The role and functions of the Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council have expanded over the past five years with office space made available to other organisations and services.

"This expansion is set to continue with partnerships being established with the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation and TAFE.

"At the moment Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation has established a small olive grove and the Local Aboriginal Land Council will be the base for employment and training for Aboriginal people.

"The Local Aboriginal Land Council is also in discussions with Wilcannia Central School about running Barkandji language classes for adults from our offices.

"The Community Fund will put Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council at the centre of community efforts to create jobs and training and preserving Barkandji culture," Ms Thwaites said.

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Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291