In 2018, the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) approved a new strategy under which it is assuming a strong focus and lead role in the areas of employment services, training and brokerage; Aboriginal housing; and land development and construction.
The aim of the strategy - NSWALC Enterprises - is to dramatically improve economic and social outcomes for Aboriginal people in New South Wales.
The Council sees jobs and housing as essential to Aboriginal peoples’ full participation in the economy of New South Wales, and to realising the gains Aboriginal people have made from the Land Rights movement.
Over the past decade some Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) have achieved remarkable success in housing, real estate development and construction. However, progress has been uneven, with many LALCs not having sufficient resources on their own to unlock the full value and potential of their key assets - their land and their people.
NSWALC Enterprises will work with LALCs so that their members can share the benefits. By pooling resources, NSWALC and LALCs working together can create the scale to better attract commercial finance and government funding.
The first major achievement of the strategy was securing funding for the Yarpa Indigenous Business and Employment Hub. More information about Yarpa can be found at its website.
Two subsidiaries have been also established under the strategy:
- NSWALC Housing (NHL) Ltd – established in January 2019
- NSWALC Employment and Training (NET) Ltd – established in June 2019
Achievements to date include:
- appointment of independent boards of directors the majority of whom are Aboriginal people
- successful registration of NHL as a Tier 2 Community Housing provider
- the successful application by NHL to become an Aboriginal Housing Office growth provider
- transfer of the Vocational Training and Employment Centre contract with the Commonwealth Government from Olympus Solutions to NET. This contract is valued at $1.7m and will see 120 Aboriginal people supported into employment.
NSWALC is the sole member of both companies and has outlined its expectations to both companies in two documents: a strategic charter and a governance charter. The companies, both of which are charities, are required to report quarterly to Council on achievement of their strategic charters and financial performance.
The work to establish these two subsidiaries has been driven by NSWALC’s Business Development Unit which will function as a group office for NSWALC’s enterprises.