As is outlined in our history, the Anindilyakwa People have been trading with Asia for at least 400 years prior to European settlement. Today the ALC must, as one of its important duties under section 23 (1) of the ALRA, “…assist Aboriginals in the area of the Land Council to carry out commercial activities (including resource development, the provision of tourist facilities and agricultural activities), in any manner that will not cause the Land Council to incur financial liability or enable it to receive financial benefit…”
As anyone who has ever started a business will tell you, the first few years are crucial. That is when mistakes are made and these mistakes can be costly. Without the right business advice, strategies, people and acumen, new businesses can quickly go under. Setting up for success must be the first priority for our Indigenous businesses and the people who own them. The second priority is troubleshooting any future problems, and the third is being able to receive the administrative support needed on a day to day basis.
Thanks to the Royalty Development Unit, the ALC is able to offer experienced,
professional advice to
all the ORIC
businesses on island, big or small. This is ground-breaking in the Australian
Indigenous space and it is anticipated it will foster the right environment for
creative, stable and successful enterprise initiatives, well into the future.
Helping Indigenous business stay in business
To ensure the long-term success of these businesses, the ALC can now offer real and tangible support, beyond simply providing financial ‘bailouts’. There are four positions within the Land Council that fall under the Royalty Development Unit. These cover the following business areas:
Business development – assist in developing business plans, strategy, budgets, reports to ALC etc
Accounting Services – providing all aspects of financial operations and compliance.
Governance – specialized ORIC compliance work, meetings, minutes, reports.
HR – dealing with workplace issues, contracts, policies, dispute resolution.
An enterprising attitude and a willingness to work hard, combined with real on-the-ground support will give Groote Eylandt Indigenous businesses that winning edge. So now they can take advantage of all the economic opportunities opening up in Northern Australia, and with our nearest trading partners, in Southeast Asia.
RDU Summary 2016-17
The RDU provided advice to the ALC Board on the distribution of $24,164,128 across 58 activities to 9 Aboriginal Corporations in the 2016/17 year. This included support for 7 new Traditional Owner business enterprises. It provides ongoing accounting services and administration support to Anindilyakwa Royalties Aboriginal Corporation (ARAC), Bartalumba Mini Mart Aboriginal Corporation, Lagulalya Aboriginal Corporation, “Mungwardinamanja Aboriginal Corporation”, “Yimadumanja Aboriginal Corporation” and a TO sole trader trading as “Eylandt Clean-up Services”.
The Minister of Indigenous Affairs in his speech in front of national media at the 2016 signing of the Mining and Exploration Agreements between South32 and ALC, strongly praised the Chairman and the ALC for the initiative in establishing the RDU.
· The nature and quality of the support provided has resulted in unprecedented levels of trust in these services, to the extent that the independent Anindilyakwa Mining Trust has agreed to contribute $51,122,311 to one of the supported Aboriginal Corporations to fund Telstra Upgrade to Bickerton Island, Sport and Recreation Upgrades, Housing Masterplan, Pole 13 Roads, Pilot Housing Project completion, Cultural Centre Fitout, Renewable energy supply, Angurugu sewerage upgrade and Refurbishment of ALC properties.