The Granites Mine Affected Area Aboriginal Corporation (GMAAAC) is using affected area monies to strengthen nine Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Central Land Council’s Community Development Unit facilitates informed decision making by GMAAAC communities and committees in planning and funding social, cultural and Economic projects.
Established in 2005, the CLC’s CD Unit supports Aboriginal people to generate community benefit from income flowing from land use agreements.
GMAAAC is one of six regional projects that the CD Unit works with. CLC experience indicates that strong and flexible governance arrangements based on local decision making are critical to achieving valued outcomes. Noel Heenan (GMAAAC director) will share how the CD approach has worked in his community, Yuelamu.
CLC staff will discuss the CLC’s strength based community development approach, as well as findings from a recent external evaluation of the CLC’s work engaging Aboriginal people in planning, implementing and evaluating initiatives contributing to Aboriginal development objectives. This paper also considers the challenges of different governance and decision making models within projects the CLC facilitates and how the CLC is working to address them.