The community of Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory has a newly-refurbished community store, thanks to a $4.6 million grant from the Commonwealth Government’s Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA).
This investment expands the range of healthy food options available in Gunbalanya while creating employment opportunities for the local community.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, congratulated the Gunbalanya community and the Adjumarllarl Aboriginal Corporation (AAC) on the store officially being opened today.
The Adjumarllarl Aboriginal Corporation, a local community organisation, owns the store and continues to engage the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation to manage the store on its behalf.
“It is so important the work we do improves the lives of community members. The new and improved facilities will allow the store to stock not only more food but healthier options,” Minister Scullion said.
“This will have widespread flow-on effects to people’s general health and wellbeing. The new large storage area will help the store to stock up for the wet season in particular when the community can be cut off for lengthy periods of time.
“The employment of people from the Gunbalanya community was a major requirement of the store refurbishment project. I am so pleased that 11 locals were employed on the project, eight of whom successfully gained qualifications in Certificate II in Construction.”
ABA Advisory Committee Chair, Ms Donna Ah Chee, said the new store was a great example of the benefits the ABA delivered to Aboriginal people living in remote communities in the Northern Territory.
The ABA funds projects for the benefit of Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory – projects that provide a one-off injection of funds into a community and promote local Aboriginal employment.