Stories

Around Australia, stories of hope, vision and determination prove that community-owned development is transforming lives every day. Each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community we work with has a story worth sharing.

Engaging and Inspiring young people to achieve in Wreck Bay

Guramaa Global Indigenous Corporation has developed a number of unique learning programs that will embed into the curriculum of the schools in Wreck Bay. Enabling and encouraging students to aspire, and focus on a career of their choice.

Envizioning a brighter future in Cairns

enVizion is the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander run training provider in the region. The aim of the group is to break the generational unemployment cycle with specialised pre-employment, mentoring and training programs. 

Larapinta Trail 2016

The Larapinta Trail through central Australia is one of the seven Great Walks of Australia and is noted as one of the top ten walks in the world. 

Toys Change Lives

Located in the northern NSW town of Casino, the program is called Toys Change Lives (TCL) and is open to young men who have been released from youth detention. Participants are taught the basics of woodwork then supported and encouraged to create wooden toys and furniture.

Hands-on engagement in Numbulwar

The Numbulwar community was looking to engage their youth more in community life and provide them with skills and confidence for potential job opportunities.

Achieving better health in Aputula

Aputula Aboriginal Corporation (AAC) implements initiatives to promote healthier lifestyles for the remote Aputula community. Recently AAC took on the management of a community building to facilitate a range of health-focused membership programs called the ‘Aputula Aboriginal Achievers Club’.

 

Opening doors to a sustainable future in Katoomba

In the heart of the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the Aboriginal Cultural Resource Centre (ACRC) provides much-needed services for the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Aboriginal memorial garden becomes a reality

For the past year, ICV has been working with the Dharriwaa Elders Group based in Walgett, NSW. The Group aims to support Aboriginal Elders to resume leadership roles in the community, keeping active and healthy, and to promote local Aboriginal cultural knowledge and identity. 

Keeping history alive in the Flinders

At the junction of the famous Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, some 680 kilometres north of Adelaide in the beautiful Flinders area, lies the little town of Marree.

Opening doors to economic opportunity and social inclusion

Many people dream of the day they pass their driving test. It’s their ticket to independence, and it can open so many doors to economic opportunity and social inclusion.

Griffith business partners for social outcome success

A new local business partnership with a national charity will increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people.

Yara Custom Wear provides quality work wear, corporate and sport uniforms to business, government and sporting organisations Australia-wide.

Supporting cultural and creative wellbeing

Baluk Arts is a non-profit Aboriginal arts organisation owned by Aboriginal artists from Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula and wider south-east Melbourne. Through Baluk Arts, family groups and members of the Stolen Generation have reconnected with their culture and can express their histories through strong artistic practices that support their cultural and creative wellbeing.

Bringing history back to life

Nanima Village is a former mission on the outskirts of Wellington, between Orange and Dubbo in NSW. It was the first inland Aboriginal mission and is Australia’s longest continually operating reserve. The Village is managed by the Wellington Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC) and its members have an ambitious vision to restore it to its former glory.

Better access to health and wellbeing services

Ngunnawal Aboriginal Corporation (Ngunnawal Community Care) is a registered charity dedicated to advancing the interests of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Since 2013, ICV volunteers have been helping staff and community members achieve their goals.

New gathering space brings big benefits

Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association (HICSA) provides a range of vital services to the community in and around Healesville, Victoria. Architect and ICV volunteer Noel recently helped renovate an old metal workshop which is now being used as a year-round art space and gathering place.

Making hay while the sun shines

The Gerard community is a small, resourceful Aboriginal-controlled local government area in The Riverland, South Australia. ICV volunteer Pete has been designing a fantastic new website which will help Gerard community market its hay. And he’s passed on valuable skills to community members who can now maintain their website and promote their products.

Ernie Dingo says #icvworks

Join the #icvworks campaign to show your support for ICV!

Foundations for a brighter future in Lismore

Jarjum Centre, a 20 place non-profit Preschool for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in Lismore, NSW, is bursting at the seams.

In 2015, Jarjum Centre reached out to ICV for help with the design of the new Centre.

Creating transport links connects communities

Living in a remote area can have its challenges, particularly when good local transport options are hard to come by. With a bold vision and desire to help their community, John and Kitty Tabuai took matters in to their own hands, and a thriving local business was born.

Helping Bowen community plan for the future

Girudala is the only Indigenous-controlled organisation providing much-needed community services in Bowen and surrounding areas in northern QLD. ICV volunteer Ross has been helping review the effectiveness of its programs, and pave the way to a successful, sustainable future.

Meet Rosemary

My name is Rosemary and I am an Aboriginal woman from Richmond, NSW. I’m also a volunteer with ICV, so when you make your donations, it’s people like me you are sending around Australia to help communities in need.

Lending a hand keeps vital community services going

EnVizion Group provides training services to local disadvantaged Indigenous people with multiple extreme learning barriers. It is the only Indigenous training provider in the Cairns regional district. So when EnVizion staff approached ICV for help, volunteer and chartered accountant Michael was more than happy to lend a hand.

Brightening up a remote community brings better job prospects

Numbulwar is a small, primarily Aboriginal community on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Its remoteness means the community has to rely heavily on its own resourcefulness and resilience. Veteran ICV volunteer Allen has been sharing his skills and experience helping Numbulwar locals build infrastructure and restore important sites in the community.

Celebrating strong and resilient community spirit brings generations together.

2015 is a very important year for the Yalata community. It marks the 60th anniversary of the granting of land to the Lutheran Church to form the settlement of Yalata for the Anangu people who were displaced from their tribal lands by the nuclear testing at nearby Maralinga.

Building skills and capacity for long term success in country NSW

Wellington Local Aboriginal Lands Council (LALC) has a big vision, but facing tough times and in receivership for more than six years, its very survival was in doubt. ICV volunteer Ian stepped in to help Wellington LALC turn its fortunes around.

Honey Ants Dreaming

ICV uses this beautiful ‘Honey Ants’ design widely in our communications and publications. Permission to use the artwork was given to us by Rowena Lynch, an artist from the Eastern Arrente, whom we met while working with the community of Santa Teresa, 80km north of Alice Springs.

Indigenous Community Volunteers’ model of invitation and local empowerment is bringing social and economic impacts

The KPMG report Economic and Social Impacts of Indigenous Community Volunteers (ICV) Activities endorses the value of the ICV model of invitation and local empowerment to achieve social and economic impacts.

Building resilience and self-esteem in Griffith

Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural and Development Centre is an Aboriginal community centre offering Aboriginal boys a culturally-based residential program aimed at reducing future contact with the criminal justice

Volunteers in Action

Kerrie Anderson, a Visual Arts school teacher from the Gold Coast of QLD, is a keen supporter of ICV. So much so that she recently decided to get involved in a more hands-on way.

"Mirror Mirror on the Screen"

Wednesday night before Easter was a big night for Jilkminggan. The small town on the Roper River had an opening night and about seventy people, young and old, came for the first performance of a play produced by the young members of the town.

Mechanical skills help remote community run smoothly

Locals are delighted to have learned new skills, extended the life of their vehicles and reduced the cost of motoring in a remote community. 

Yester Year Bridal Parade showcases hospitality skills

Fifteen young women were able to showcase their new skills at a successful inaugural Yester Year Bridal Parade.

Women’s Healing Camp in APY Lands

In October 2014 ATT held its first women's healing camp on the traditional country of the APY Lands in northern South Australia. The camp offered women a unique opportunity to visit traditional Anangu lands and experience the culture and traditions of Ngangkari spiritual healing practices which have been in use for over 60,000 years.

Hands-on help leads to great results

The Yurauna Centre at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) offers a place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to seek support and guidance. In late 2012 Caroline Hughes, Director at the Yurauna Centre, asked ICV to help with a tutoring program for its students.

Learning practical skills empowers and connects local women

Ngallu Wal Aboriginal Child & Family Centre, in the Doonside area of suburban Sydney, is leading the way in building partnerships which focus on social inclusion and connectedness for local Indigenous people.

Building relationships for long term success in Dubbo

ICV has a long standing relationship with Dubbo Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC) which began back in 2008. Since then, ICV volunteers have helped in many different ways. 

Hands-on help for local artists

Arts and crafts are a traditional and time-honoured way for people to express themselves and their culture. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, art is also a communications tool for passing on cultural identity and knowledge from one generation to another. And it’s an important source of income for many communities.

Three Sistas support their community

The Three Sistas housing initiative, based in Cairns, was the brainchild of social entrepreneurs Janet Guthrie and Stuart Wright.  Since 2011 it has been providing affordable housing to people in crisis and transition.

Breathing life in to a cultural treasure ‘MAWONGA’

‘MAWONGA’ is a sprawling 22,350 hectare property to the north of Hillston, New South Wales.  It is located on traditional country of the Ngiyampaa people and holds enormous cultural significance.   

Small Engines, Big Dreams

Ngukurr is a large community some 300km south east of Katherine. When local men approached ICV seeking assistance to run a small engines training and maintenance program, volunteer, Ken jumped at the opportunity.

New skills and new clothes for remote NT community

Bulman Women’s Centre has been operating for a while now with many local women involved in different activities. They are understandably very proud of their centre and its programs which enable women to build their skills in different areas. So when centre coordinator Jill approached ICV with an idea for a sewing program, ICV was delighted to get involved.

Regional Gathering creates new opportunities and lasting connections for Indigenous women

Women play a very important role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Creating a culturally supportive environment in which they can explore issues that affect their lives and discuss the needs and wants of their communities is key to creating positive, lasting change.

Many hands make light work in Milikapiti

Hi, I’m Peter, and I’d like to share my most recent experience with you because I know it will inspire you as much as it did me. You see, when we work together, we can help Indigenous people in amazing ways.

Queensland: From trouble in paradise to a thriving, resilient community

Palm Island is an Aboriginal community within Great Palm Island on the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland. Its natural endowments and breathtaking beauty make it a classic ‘tropical paradise’, but it is not without its problems.

Reconciliation in action through two way learning

The Yolngu people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory are resourceful and visionary. And helping make their vision a reality is something ICV is delighted to be a part of.

Community gardens bridging cultural divides

Community gardens can be an important ingredient in bringing people together, and bridging cultural divides.

Meet Bob Bowen – ICV volunteer and all round legend

Bob lives with his wife in Culcairn, NSW. He is involved with Rotary, listens to infants reading twice a week, visits an aged hostel and plays lawn bowls. And in his spare time he shares his plumbing knowledge and skills with Indigenous communities through ICV projects.