Seven Local Aboriginal Land Councils share in NSWALC Community Fund
8 November 2016
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) today announced Community Fund grants had been awarded to seven Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) in the Wiradjuri region.
NSWALC Councillor for Wiradjuri Region Craig Cromelin said the following LALCs had been selected in the latest round of the Community Fund.
Cr Cromelin 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 Cromelin said.
About the projects
Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Toni-Lee Scott said the Community Fund grant would go towards an upgrade of the LALC office.
"The Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Council office is the focal point of community functions, celebrations and cultural activities.
"The Community Fund grant will go a long way to ensuring we can offer better levels of comfort for community members, particularly our Elders," she said.
Brungle Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Sue Bulger said the Community Fund grant would allow the LALC to better maintain land around houses in the area.
"The Community Fund grant has come at the right time for the Local Aboriginal Land Council. By purchasing our own equipment, we will be able to offer work and training for community members," she said.
Cummeragunja Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Atkinson said the Community Fund grant would help upgrade the Community Hall.
"The Cummeragunja Hall is a gathering place for community and families who have a connection to the country in this area.
"It is used regularly throughout the year for meetings, workshops and cultural activities but the facilities are in urgent need of an upgrade," Ms Atkinson said.
Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Robert Carroll said the old Griffith police station would benefit from the Community Fund grant.
"Almost a year ago, Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council was successful in claiming the old Griffith police station
"The police station land claim is a great example of the Land Rights system working for the benefit of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community in Griffith.
"The Community Fund grant will help us get on with the job of upgrading the building, providing training and employment opportunities and an income stream when the property is rented," Mr Carroll said.
Hay Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Ian Woods said the Community Fund grant would go towards essential works for disability access and to upgrade infrastructure on the LALC office.
"Hay Local Aboriginal Land Council operates from a building that was constructed more than 100 years ago so it's essential we improve access for our members and visitors, particularly the Elders," Mr Woods said.
West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Leeanne Hampton said the Community Fund grant would go towards the protection of artefacts.
"Many important Aboriginal artefacts are on display at the Local Aboriginal Land Council but there is an urgent need to extend the museum area.
"This will provide better protection of our culture and provide better access for the wider community, including tourists," Ms Hampton said.
Recently the Local Aboriginal Land Council had a rare, sacred carved tree returned to the community.
"The upgrade of the Museum will empower Aboriginal people to be proud of their cultural identity and to share our culture with the wider community around West Wyalong," Ms Hampton said.
Young Local Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer Norma Freeman said the Community grant wold be directed towards a renovation of LALC office
"The Young LALC office is in urgent need of renovations to improve access for community and the working environment for staff.
"Upgrading the air-conditioning and facilities will also provide relief for our members, particularly Elders, when they attend meetings and functions in summer and winter.
"The Young Local Aboriginal Land Council has a strong working relationship with the Shire Council, schools and other community groups.
"The renovations to our Young Local Aboriginal Land Council will allow us to invite more community groups to our offices, particularly during events like NAIDOC Week.
Visitors would be able to see our artefacts and hear stories about Wiradjuri traditions and culture," Ms Freeman said.
Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291