$80,000 Aboriginal Workforce Grants

You can apply for a grant of up to $80,000 for initiatives or projects that result in more Aboriginal Territorians entering employment and developing careers within the workplace. You can apply if you are a Northern Territory enterprise and employ Aboriginal Territorians including incorporated Aboriginal organisations, private businesses, industry bodies, not-for-profit organisations and other incorporated organisations.

MAF takes over operations to Laynha Air

The Chairperson of the Laynhapuy Aviation Aboriginal Corporation, Mr Barayuwa Mununggurr, announced today that Laynha Air, based at the Gove Airport, has ceased operations, after 31 years of continuous sterling service to the Yolngu People of northeast Arnhem Land.

The announcement coincides with the signing of a Service Level Agreement between Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation and Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) for the provision of the Corporation’s future air transport requirements in support of the Laynhapuy homelands.

Mr Mununggurr said the decision to cease the operation of Laynha Air was made by the Laynhapuy Aviation Aboriginal Corporation Board, following careful consideration of options for continuing the service.

The decision reflects an understanding of the changes to the circumstances that lead to the establishment of Laynha Air in 1986.

Mr Mununggurr said, ‘Laynha Air celebrates the strong support provided by MAF over many years and the Board of Laynhapuy Homelands is delighted that, through the Service Level Agreement signed with MAF today, the Laynhapuy relationship with MAF will continue well into the future’.

On behalf of the Laynhapuy Aviation and Laynhapuy Homelands Boards, and the staff of Laynha Air Mr Mununggurr thanked Laynha Air’s numerous loyal customers of over its 31 years of operation.

The phone number for booking flights to Laynhapuy homelands with MAF is 08 8987 2777.


Owned by the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, and managed by the late Adrian Wagg, Laynha Air commenced operation from Yirrkala in 1986, with a single helicopter.

The purchase of two fixed wing aircraft in 1990 necessitated Laynha Air moving to a newly constructed hanger and office at the Gove Airport.

Shortly before the tragic death of Adrian Wagg in 2002, discussions had commenced with MAF that lead in 2003 to a formal agreement that saw the engagement of MAF pilots for the Laynha Air aircraft and MAF providing Laynha Air’s engineering service requirements.

The agreement also provided Laynha Air with its Chief Pilot and Operating Manuals requirements.

In recent years the relationship extended to Laynha Air leasing several aircraft from MAF.
At the time Laynha Air ceased operating helicopters in 2004 the fixed wing fleet had grown to six.

Throughout its 31-year history Laynha Air provided people and freight transport services to Homeland residents, for their general transport needs and for access to medical services, including for medical staff flying in and patients flying out (to specialist appointments and for emergency evacuations).

Laynha Air also operated as a general charter operator, transported Yirralka Ranger and building maintenance staff, participated in search and rescue operations, supported education through transporting teachers and students, and returned deceased persons to their Country.

Current Laynha Air General Manager, Dan Wagg, son of the late Adrian Wagg, joined Laynha Air as an apprentice aircraft engineer in 1991. Dan notes that Laynha Air has transported over 16,000 people annually for the past 25 years, including many of the Yolngu teams competing in Barunga’s annual sports festivals, and recalls the use of the Laynha Air aircraft for filming Yothu Yindi film clips and for the filming of the Yolngu Boy movie.

Dan recollects the most unusual task of Laynha Air was in the 1990s, utilising the whole of the aircraft fleet to fly Kentucky Fried Chicken into Nhulunbuy from Darwin for the annual Nhulunbuy Unions Picnic Day.

Another notable flight was transporting a number of Nhulunbuy residents to the annual Birdsville Races, requiring three refuelling stops there and back.

For further media information contact: Chris Francis Chief Executive Officer Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation 0417 481 610


Critical time ahead for NT tourism industry

THE Territory’s tourism economy will be forced into an overhaul once major projects like Inpex reduce, the Tourism NT chairman Michael Bridge said.

Mr Bridge, who is also a director of Airnorth — Australia’s second oldest airline — said high airfares were just one part of the challenge ahead.

The cost of flying to and from the Territory has again surfaced with independent MLA Terry Mills pressing for the lifting of restrictions allowing international carriers to move passengers to domestic destinations.

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Bunuwal Fuel Deal

Rirratjingu score Gove diesel deal

Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation’s Bunuwal Fuel has sealed a new deal with Rio Tinto extending its existing relationship by at least another three years.

The Rirratjingu will supply diesel to Rio’s operations in Northeast Arnhem Land.

The new agreement has a two year option at the end of the three year period.

Bunuwal Fuel imports the diesel from Singapore and then works closely with another Arnhem Land-based firm, YBE, to have it transported from Gove Peninsula to mining operations, ancillary projects and for power generation on the peninsula.

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Gunyangara finding new ways to create local jobs

Trying to find a job can be hard. Trying to find a job while living in an isolated community thousands of kilometres from major industry hubs is even harder.

In the Gunyangara community in far north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, traditional owners are using a new kind of township lease to gain control over their own land in an effort to alleviate these difficulties for local Aboriginal residents.

But they are calling for the NT Government to contract more work to foster more Indigenous jobs.

Ream Full Story



Moving in the right direction

Teresa Holdsworth sees herself as a ‘conduit’ for the business world. She is a Small Business Champion based in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula.

Teresa and her colleague Anne Pearce, who work for the NT Government’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, support businesses across East Arnhem Land.

It’s about helping new and existing businesses find where they can access support to grow and prosper. That support ranges from assessing business performance, investigating and developing workforce strategies and growth plans, to helping businesses with opportunities in government procurement.

Teresa spends time speaking with small businesses and finding out more about the business and the million dollar question: what keeps you awake at night? She then sets about pointing them in the direction of finding the right help for their particular issue

“It feels like I direct traffic. My role is to get people going in the right direction so that they can find a solution to their business challenges.

“It might be finding the right people for them to talk to or even something as simple as pointing out the right website.”

Teresa has been doing the job for just under two years. She has supported local businesses through the challenges of Gove refinery curtailment and continues to support the region through its remarkable recovery as it continues to build a sustainable and diverse economy.

“The Gove Peninsula is a fabulous place to live,” says Teresa. “There’s a great sense of community. It’s a privilege to live here and work with Yolngu traditional owners, community leaders and businesses to support the region to achieve its amazing potential.

Teresa works in partnership with the Regional Economic Development Committee, Developing East Arnhem Limited and traditional owners groups to make the most of the opportunities the region offers.

North-East Arnhem Land is remote and doing business is can be tough.

But Teresa says: “The support offered to the business community by the NT Government during the curtailment of the refinery was outstanding and that support continues.”

She loves travelling through her “patch” – Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Galiwin’ku, Gapuwiyak and the Laynhapuy Homelands.

“I see spectacular country – country that few are privileged to see.”

But the best part of the job is gaining the confidence of small business owners and helping them succeed.

If you would like to discuss ways to improve the profitability, sustainability or capability of your business contact our Small Business Champions team on (08) 8999 5479.


Northern Territory Business’ Bipartisan Dinner

THE nation’s decision-makers were wined and dined by the Territory’s most influential in a Parliament House soiree last night to accelerate development of the north.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and a swag of parliamentarians attended #FacingNorth in a show of bipartisanship feasting crocodile and pearl meat and Humpty Doo barramundi washed down with Green Ant Gin.

The event was the initiative of the Darwin Major Business Group, who represent 15 percent of the Territory’s gross state product.

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Rio Tinto Awards A$22m Contract to Sodexo

Rio Tinto has awarded a A$22 million integrated services contract to facilities management provider Sodexo which includes an Indigenous employment target of 20 per cent within two years.

Sodexo will supply camp management services to the world class Amrun bauxite project on the Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. 50 jobs will be required to deliver the two year contract.

A letter of intent has also been signed with the company to provide integrated facilities management services at mine sites at Weipa in North Queensland and Gove in the Northern Territory.

The contract was awarded based on Sodexo’s commercial offering, commitment to health, safety and environment and local and Indigenous participation.

Amrun Project General Manager Marcia Hanrahan said “Facilities management will be critical to the ongoing success of Amrun operations. We are very pleased to work with Sodexo to provide the safest and most comfortable environment for our people living and working onsite.

“Sodexo is committed to achieving our Indigenous employment targets and will also work closely with local businesses to identify associated subcontracting opportunities”.

Sodexo Mining Asia Pacific CEO Paul Bean said “This contract award signals Sodexo’s success and commitment in continuing to deliver high quality facility management solutions at the right cost, safely and in collaboration with local communities.

Additionally the Amrun contract presents us with an exciting opportunity to significantly increase employment, training and business development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region.”


Last GP clinic closing its doors in Nhulunbuy

From ABC News Online

The outback town of Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land, which had a population plummet after the closure of an alumina refinery, is set to have its only GP clinic close.

Endeavour Health Services last week announced it will shut in January, citing a drop in patients, an inability to secure a lease, and the removal of a housing subsidy for doctors and a freeze on Medicare rebates.

The health service has operated in Nhulunbuy since the 1960s and historically has been subsidised by mining company Rio Tinto and the Northern Territory Government.

But an alumina refinery that employed about 1,100 of the town’s 4,000 residents was mothballed in May 2014, and Nhulunbuy’s population plummeted.

Since the refinery closed its doors, Rio Tinto is understood to have ended its housing support for doctors who worked at the clinic.