Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA) Grant Funding

August 2016 ABA Beneficial Grants Funding Round

Funding Round Status: CLOSED

Opening Date: 23 August 2016

Closing Date: 23 September 2016

The ABA funding round is now closed. Applications received after 12pm (noon) Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) on 23 September 2016 will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

It is anticipated that all applicants will be notified of the outcome of the August 2016 ABA beneficial grants funding round before the end of the 2016 calendar year.

Please be advised that a subsequent ABA beneficial grant funding round is scheduled to open in February 2017.

About the ABA

ABA beneficial grant funding under section 64(4) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Land Rights Act) is provided for one-off grant funding (non-recurrent funding) proposals that benefit Aboriginal people living in the NT.

Applicants should frame their proposal under one of the following ABA funding categories:

  • Supporting Enterprises
  • Supporting Community
  • Supporting Culture, Language and Leadership
  • Supporting Land, Sea and Waters Management and Use.

Further information on ABA Funding Categories is contained in Section 2.3 of the ABA Beneficial Grant Guidelines.

Funding under each category is available for Small Projects up to and including $250,000 (GST exclusive) or Large Projects over $250,000 (GST exclusive).

The ABA contributes to the Government's priorities for Indigenous Australians through:

  • Getting Indigenous Australians into work
  • Fostering Indigenous Business
  • Ensuring Indigenous people receive economic and social benefits from the effective management of their land.

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion (the Minister), has overall responsibility for the ABA. The Minister is the final decision maker in relation to any proposals funded under ABA beneficial grants, taking into consideration the advice provided by the Department and the ABA Advisory Committee.

The Minister determines available ABA beneficial grant funding and the timing of grant funding rounds. 

The ABA Advisory Committee

The ABA Advisory Committee is established under subsection 65(1) of the Land Rights Act to advise the Minister for Indigenous Affairs in connection with debiting the ABA for the purpose of making payments under subsection 64(4) of the Land Rights Act to benefit Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory. The ABA Advisory Committee provides invaluable cultural and local advice to the Minister on which applications should be supported for ABA beneficial grant funding.

The ABA Advisory Committee consists of a Chair appointed by the Minister and 14 members elected by the four Northern Territory Land Councils. The members elected by the Northern Territory Land Councils must be Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory or whose names are set out in a register of traditional Aboriginal owners maintained by the relevant Land Council. Members comprise:

  • 7 from the Northern Land Council
  • 5 from the Central Land Council
  • 1 from the Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • 1 from the Tiwi Land Council.

In addition to their important role in advising the Minister, the ABA Advisory Committee may also support the development and implementation of strategic or large scale projects and participate in governance arrangements for major projects. These projects focus on achieving benefits for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and are enhanced by the input, expertise and view of the ABA Advisory Committee whose members come from a variety of geographic locations across the Northern Territory.

Committee meetings

The Committee generally meets up to twice a year and may also meet on occasion at the request of the Department to consider policy matters or for strategic planning.

Committee meeting communique 1-3 November 2016


The Chair of the Committee is appointed by the Minister and is a part-time statutory office holder.

The Minister has appointed Ms Donna Ah Chee as Chair of the ABA Committee for a term of 3 years, beginning 1 July 2016.

Current Committee Members

Northern Land Council

  • Mr Djawa Yunupingu
  • Ms Lisa Mumbin
  • Mr Wayne Wauchope
  • Mr James Sing
  • Ms Grace Daniels
  • Ms Elaine Watts
  • Mr Keith Rory

Central Land Council

  • Ms Valerie Martin
  • Ms Barbara Shaw
  • Mr Harry Nelson
  • Mr Phillip Wilyuka
  • Mr Kelvin Morrison

Tiwi Land Council

  • Mr Andrew Tipungwuti

Anindilyakwa Land Council

  • Mr Tony Wurramarrba, AO (Chair)

September 2015 ABA Beneficial Grants Funding Round

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion (the Minister), has announced Remote and Regional communities in the Northern Territory (NT) will benefit from up to $6.7 million worth of projects.  When finalised, these projects will help to improve the quality of life of Aboriginal people across the NT.

The Minister has instructed the Department to commence negotiating funding conditions with 13 orgnisations as a result of the September 2015 ABA beneficial grant funding round,

The Minister's media statement is available on the Minister’s website.

A list of organisations the Department will enter into negotiations with under the September 2015 ABA beneficial grant round is available below.  

ABA Funding September 2015 XLS KB | PDF KB

The Minister determines the timing of ABA beneficial grant funding rounds and is yet to announce the opening of the next funding round.

February 2015 ABA Beneficial Grants Funding Round

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, announced the outcome of the February 2015 ABA grant funding round on 16 June 2015The Minister's media statement is available on the Minister’s website.

A list of organisations recommended for funding under the February 2015 ABA beneficial grant round is provided: ABA Funding February 2015 XLS 21 KB | PDF 307 KB

Further details of each grant will be listed on the PM&C website within 14 days of the agreement taking effect, as required under the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines.

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