Interesting stuff happening over at the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council. The Council has a clever two-track investment strategy—make a nice, fair profit on a land development and, then, take that money and pour it into some pretty cool services for people.
So, last week, we learned about progress on a big development from the Council via the Financial Review (subscription needed):
The NSW government is considering a revised proposal from the Gandangarra Local Aboriginal Land Council for a $1 billion, 850 hectare residential and commercial development in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire…
Profits from the project will go towards education, employment, housing and transport programs for Aborigines with the aim of breaking welfare dependency. [emphasis added]
This isn’t just a fantasy. Those programs are already happening, per the Oz (subscription needed):
Importantly, Eric will have basic literacy and numeracy skills, know his numbers, recognise letters and sounds, and be able to write his name — all as a result of attending playgroups set up by the local Aboriginal land council.
Aboriginal children tend to start school not far behind their non-indigenous classmates but fall further behind as they progress through the school years.
To tackle this problem, the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council in southwestern Sydney started a program about 18 months ago to run playgroups to help prepare Aboriginal children for school, and the council is now running 10 groups, with plans for a further 20.
To hammer this point home, don’t you love a vision of leaders who see where they can bring in some revenue but they also get that the beneficiaries of prosperity should be their constituents?
— Jonathan Tasini