Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Laynhapuy Homelands Association

Joint Media Release with:

  • Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin has approved the release of funds totalling almost $5 million from the Aboriginal Benefits Account (ABA) to support Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc.

The Australian Government recognises Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc performs an important role by providing a range of services to around 1,500 Yolngu people residing in 25 homelands and outstations across North East Arnhem Land.

The release of funds to the Association comes after a funding controller appointed by the Australian Government recommended a range of reform measures to improve governance, administration and financial management issues.

These measures have been agreed to by the Association’s board. They include:

  • transferring the Association’s incorporation to the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act);
  • a major review of the organisation and its operations to ensure its long term viability;
  • working with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) to develop and implement changes to improve the Association’s governance.

The agreed reforms will increase the regulatory scrutiny and the support available to the Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc and assist the board and staff to address the significant structural change and capacity building required.

The ABA funds being used to assist Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc had already been supported by the ABA Advisory Committee and approved by the Minister for activities to be undertaken by the Association.

Releasing these ABA funds already earmarked for Laynhapuy Homelands Association Inc, together with the Association’s transition to a more secure and viable future will ensure the Association can continue to support people living in homeland communities.

The ABA funds will provide support consistent with advice received by the independent funds controller and is in line with priorities identified in the ABA Advisory Committee’s strategic plan.

An initial $1 million dollars will be granted and the remainder is contingent on the organisation implementing the agreed measures to improve financial and organisational management.