Building skills and capacity for long term success in country NSW

Wellington Local Aboriginal Lands Council (LALC) has a big vision: to liberate and empower Aboriginal people in NSW through economic and social independence. 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. With renewed funding, it can now stay open and continue to provide vital services to the local community.

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Wellington Local Aboriginal Lands Council (LALC) has a big vision: to liberate and empower Aboriginal people in NSW through economic and social independence. But facing tough times and in receivership for more than six years, its very survival was in doubt. Then in 2012, the local Wellington community was given another opportunity to handle its own affairs.

When Leanne Stanley was appointed as CEO in early 2013, she quickly identified that to meet community needs in the long term, Wellington LALC needed more staff. But such a big vision on a tight budget meant they needed to attract investment and other much needed support.

ICV volunteer Ian stepped in to help Leanne develop a new Community, Land and Business Plan. Their aim was to set out Wellington LALC’s goals and how they could achieve them.

Thanks to Leanne’s commitment, Ian’s support and a sound plan for its future, Wellington LALC has now secured funding and will stay open, providing vital services to the local community. Importantly, working with Ian has given Leanne and the Wellington LALC Board the tools they need to fulfil their reporting commitments and retain funding in the longer term.

First on their ‘to do’ list is to restore and refurbish Nanima Village, which comprises 22 dwellings and has been home to many Aboriginal people for a very long time. The longer term goal for Nanima Village is to make it economically productive. Some other goals include:

 - The provision of a children's park and BBQ

 - Resurfacing the basketball court

 - Restoring the old office, Dinga shop, and two machinery sheds to working condition, and

 - Obtaining ownership of the old school, asbestos free, to be used as a community facility.

Other future economic development opportunities for the local community include a market garden, a nursery, cattle agistment, and arts and crafts.

The Wellington Aboriginal community is very grateful for its new five year plan and a positive way forward after years of being in receivership.