Celebrating working with Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation
Written by Zoe Dark, Team Leader, Grant Program Office
The homelands movement is a proud and historic initiative of Yolngu (local people), inspired by clan elders, who sought to determine their own future, conduct affairs according to Yolngu ‘lore’, and live and raise their families on their traditional Land.
In April 1972, following decades in various missions, Yolngu senior elders and their extended family began to move away from the Yirrkala Mission and the expanding mining town and back to their clan land around Arnhem Land. Their vision being to develop sustainable, self-sufficient homelands.
With the help of Ngapaki (non-Indigenous people) from the Mission, Yolngu build their homes using trees from their land and cleared land for airstrips.
Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation (LHAC or ‘Laynha’) was established in 1985 and enjoys a proud history of supporting Yolngu to live on their traditional clan land. With some 30 homeland communities, Laynha provides health, community, homeland, housing and infrastructure services to a population of approximately 1100 Yolngu residents and approximately 300 regular visitors. This support extends to Yirrkala Rangers Land and Sea Management in East Arnhem Land – 33,310 square kilometres in the far north-east corner of the Northern Territory.
Like most First Nations communities, it is very difficult to develop sustainable own source revenue to meet the most basic of human needs and as a result there is a heavy reliance on the various funding streams to deliver the much needed community services to support housing, health, and critical infrastructure.
For nine months, our Peak Services Grants Program Office has been working with LHAC to strengthen their funding applications and manage their grants program. This partnership has already proven incredibly successful, with funding secured for 13 projects, a combined value of over 10 million dollars, and a further 11 applications pending decision. These funds help Laynha deliver essential services to these remote homeland communities.
Two successful applications under the National Indigenous Australians Agencies’, Aboriginals Benefit Account Open Grant Opportunity were recently secured for the installation and commissioning of a Hybrid Solar power system. The projects involve the design, supply, installation, and commission of a Hybrid Solar power system in both Gangan and Baniyala, and aim to provide the community with a robust and resilient power supply to improve access to essential services, health, hygiene, and well-being.
Power is currently provided by noisy, expensive diesel generators, and supply is unreliable, particularly during the wet season when access to fuel trucks is limited. This Hybrid Solar power system will contribute long-term financial savings to the community, provide cleaner, more reliable power for residents and services, and provide employment opportunities for the community as a local team will be trained to maintain the new equipment.
Another great result stemming from the Laynha-Peak partnership was the recent announcement that 9 out of 9 applications submitted to the Homelands Housing, Municipal and Essential Services Grant Capital Funding program were successful.
The projects submitted for funding involved over 50 bodies of work across Laynha’s some 30 homeland communities. With lots of moving parts, Peak’s Grants team worked closely with Laynha to break down the works and package them into 9 applications to increase value for money and capacity to deliver - contributing to Laynha’s chance of success.
Projects will contribute to improved health and environmental outcomes across some 30 homeland communities. These projects range from:
- Building fit-for-purpose waste management systems to ensure efficient and environmental disposal of waste
- Sewerage upgrades to provide effluent designated areas
- Installation of toilets and showers - over half the houses do not have access to their own flush toilet and need to use a pit toilet
- Replacement of end-of-life bore pumps with energy-efficient solar power pumps
- Installation of solar power hot water systems
- Roof replacements, and
- Upgrading existing power mains at airstrips.
“The team at Peak are so committed to supporting our funding applications and overall program, in that it feels like we are one organisation. Prior to Laynha working with Peak, we were somewhat disjointed and struggling to keep up with funding requirements, let alone position the organisation for the best chance of securing funding through the multitude of funding streams. By changing our approach and working in collaboration with Peak we are able to do so much more for our communities. We have been able to tap into such a broad range of experience and skillset and as a result this improves our own capability and capacity to deliver important projects and improve liveability for our people.” Jeff Cook, Manager Laynhapuy Health, Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation.
Peak Services Grant Program Office can help you submit an application that will ultimately triumph, for you and your community.
Contact Peak Services Grant Program Office, Team Leader, Zoe Dark by email at email@example.com or phone 0427 139 988