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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Specific advice for ABA Grants applicants

  1. Business Proposals
  2. Construction and Infrastructure
  3. Funerals and Ceremonies Assistance
  4. Land Acquisition or Management, Agriculture, or Pastoral
  5. Projects that Support Service Provision (including pilots)
  6. Purchase of Vehicles and Equipment
  7. Rangers
  8. Research
  9. Stores, Museums, and Arts and Cultural Centres

Business Proposals

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims outlining the benefit of the business for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory (NT).
  • Strong claims regarding the need for the business for Aboriginal people in the NT, demonstrating why ABA Open Grants funding is needed and why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding. Applicants are encouraged to explain why lending or leasing is not being considered.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the business.

Note: if the request is for funding of over $500,000, a Business Plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.

  • The viability of the business must be independently verified by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). Applicants can find more information on how to contact IBA in the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.
  • Applicants should liaise with IBA each time they apply for funding and should not submit assessments or other evidence of engagements with IBA or other business advisory services from previous ABA applications.
  • Applications for land acquisition, land management, or agriculture related projects, should consult with the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC). Applicants can find more information on how to contact the ILSC in the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.

Note: an independent opinion of viability by IBA will also be required.

  • If the business uses premises or needs to access land (e.g., tourism), a statement regarding land tenure or access rights should be included with the application.
  • Formal quotes – less than 12 months old for assets.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation. That is, the project will not prevent or reduce competition in the market.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • The applicant has engaged with IBA or a similar source of business support to develop their application. To find out more call ABA on 1800 354 612.
  • The applicant demonstrates commitment to the business by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute for a financial co-contribution.
  • The business provides an increase in Aboriginal employment as a benefit of the project.
  • Private entities including sole traders and partnerships should use the section on ‘capacity’ to explain what will happen to assets if the business fails and how the benefit to Aboriginal people in the NT will remain.
  • If the applicant wishes to purchase a business, the valuation price must be transparent and contestable.
  • The applicant is aware that grant funding can have tax implications for businesses.

Construction and infrastructure

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims outlining the benefit of the project for Aboriginal people in the NT. 
  • Strong claims regarding the need for the project for Aboriginal people in the NT demonstrating why ABA Open Grants funding is needed and why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding. Applicants are encouraged to explain why grant funding is being sought over leasing or lending. 
  • Demonstrated capacity to deliver the project.

Note if the request is for funding of over $500,000, business applicants will be required to provide a Business Plan and non-business applicants a Project Management Plan.

  • If the applicant is a business, then the viability of the business must be independently verified by IBA.
  • Applicants should liaise with IBA each time they apply for funding and should not submit assessments or other evidence of engagements with IBA or other business advisory services from previous ABA applications. For more information, please review the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.
  • Fixed price quotes from licensed trades or cost estimates from an independent cost estimator are provided and are less than 12 months old.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation. That is, the project will not prevent or reduce competition in the market.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Business applicants demonstrate a commitment by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute.
  • If these costs are essential, the preference is for these costs to be covered by the financial co-contribution and in-kind support.
  • Land tenure is resolved up to the point that it will not affect the delivery of the project, this may require engagement with one of the four NT Land Council’s or the Office of Township Leasing.
  • Construction in remote communities addresses the risk of obtaining permission to connect or reconnect from the utility’s provider in the area.
  • Construction outside of the NT building control area acknowledges that construction will be undertaken as if it was within the NT building control area.
  • Projects in most instances will deliver a construction outcome rather than concept plans or for-construction drawings.
  • Indigenous procurement is preferential. If non-Indigenous procurement is proposed, it is advisable to explain why.
  • Contingency funds for cost overruns are not a preference. Should the applicant be approved, cost overruns are to be managed through presenting a case to the delegate and a variation to the Grant Agreement.
  • Applicants may wish to enhance their application by developing an Indigenous Employment Plan.
  • The applicant acknowledges the funding may carry the condition of a Purposes Deed.
  • Applications do not attribute non-project overheads to the project or charge an administration fee – these are best provided to the project as an in-kind contribution.
  • Applicants who are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of Aboriginal people in the NT need to demonstrate agreement through letters of support.
  • Business applicants are aware that grant funding can have tax implications.

Funerals and ceremonies assistance

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Funerals and ceremonial support are delivered by the four NT Land Councils through a process that is separate to ABA Open Grants funding.

Land acquisition or management, agriculture, or pastoral

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims outlining the benefit of the acquisition for Aboriginal people in the NT.

Note: the benefit of the acquisition cannot be appreciating property value (an investment).

  • Strong claims regarding the need for the business for Aboriginal people in the NT, demonstrating why ABA Open Grants funding is needed and why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding. Applicants are encouraged to explain why lending or leasing is not being considered.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the business.

Note: if the request is for funding of over $500,000, business applicants will be required to provide a Business Plan and service providers a Project Management Plan.

  • If the applicant is a business, then viability of the business must be independently verified by IBA.
  • Applicants should liaise with IBA each time they apply for funding and should not submit assessments or other evidence of engagements with IBA or other business advisory services from previous ABA applications. For more information, please review the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.
  • Applicants seeking funding for land and property acquisition must consult with the ILSC. For more information, please review the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.
  • A robust and contestable valuation of the sale price must be presented.
  • The funding will not result in an anti-competitive situation. That is, the project will not prevent or reduce competition in the market.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Business applicants demonstrate a commitment by making a financial co-contribution. In-kind support is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute.
  • Service providers transparently disclose if they currently receive grant funding for renting or leasing a premise and how the acquisition will affect that funding.
  • Private entities including sole traders and partnerships should use the section on ‘capacity’ to explain what will happen to land or property if the business fails and how the benefit to Aboriginal people will remain.
  • The applicant acknowledges that the funding may carry the condition of a Purposes Deed.
  • Business applicants are aware that grant funding can have tax implications.

Projects that support service provision (including pilots)

It is important to note that ABA only funds projects and not programs. Projects have a start and end date. Some applications are for pilots, which are a trial project that tests for a program.

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims outlining the benefit of the project for Aboriginal people in the NT.
  • Strong claims regarding the need for the project for Aboriginal people in the NT, demonstrating why ABA Open Grants funding is needed and why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding or why mainstream funding is not available.
  • Demonstrated capacity for delivering the project.

Note: if the request is for funding of over $500,000, a Project Management Plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.

  • If the project uses premises or needs to access land, a statement regarding land tenure or access rights should be included with the application.
  • Formal quotes – less than 12 months old.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • For pilots – the application should outline how, in the event of a successful pilot, the pilot will migrate to a program and which alternative source of funding will support it. Letters of support from the alternative funding source will strengthen the application. 
  • Applications do not attribute non-project overheads to the project or charge an administration fee – these are best provided to the project as an in-kind contribution.
  • Any interstate or international travel is identified in the budget. These will be considered by the delegate.
  • Applicants who are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of Aboriginal people in the NT need to demonstrate agreement through letters of support.

Purchase of vehicles and equipment

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claims outlining the benefit of the vehicle and/or equipment for Aboriginal people in the NT. This may need the context of the benefit of project or program that the vehicle or equipment will support to be outlined.
  • Strong claims regarding the need for the vehicle and/or equipment for Aboriginal people in the NT and demonstration of why ABA Open Grants funding is needed:
    • For businesses: this will include an explanation of why the provision of grant funding is sought over leasing or lending.
    • For service providers: this will include an explanation of why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding, including using program funds to lease a vehicle or equipment, or why mainstream funding is not available.
  • Demonstrated capacity for procuring, managing, and replacing the vehicle or equipment.

Note: if the funding request is for over $500,000 then:

  • For service providers: Project management plan is required.
  • For businesses: A Business Plan is required.
  • If the applicant is a business the viability of the business must be independently verified by IBA. Applicants should liaise with IBA each time they apply for funding and should not submit assessments or other evidence of engagements with IBA or other business advisory services from previous ABA applications. For more information, please review the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • Applicants requesting funding of under $500,000 can enhance their application by submitting a Vehicle and/or Equipment Management Plan that outlines the use, management, and maintenance, as well as replacement.
  • Acknowledge acceptance that the vehicle and/or equipment may be covered by the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) or through a Purposes Deed.
  • Local procurement of vehicles and equipment, including preference for Indigenous suppliers.
  • Transparency of the use of the funds from disposing of any current vehicles and/or equipment.

Rangers

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Rangers’ ongoing and capital costs are covered by the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS). As a result, they are generally not eligible for ABA Open Grants funding.

Research

It is important to note the preference is to fund projects that produce tangible outcomes.

Stores, museums, arts and cultural centres

Stores, museums, arts, and cultural centers have the ability to generate revenue and are generally regarded as businesses.

Advice on the key requirements:

  • Strong claim outlining the benefit of the project for Aboriginal people in the NT.
  • Strong claim regarding the need for business for Aboriginal people in the NT, demonstrating why ABA Open Grants funding is needed, why the provision of funding is not the responsibility of mainstream funding (or if it is the responsibility of another funding body, why that funding is not currently available) and why leasing or lending is not being considered.
  • Demonstrated capacity to deliver the project.

Note: if the request is for funding of over $500,000 a Business Plan will be required to demonstrate capacity.

  • The viability of the proposal must be independently verified by IBA. Applicants should liaise with IBA each time they apply for funding and should not submit assessments or other evidence of engagements with IBA or other business advisory services from previous ABA applications. For more information, please review the drop-down menu, ‘how to apply’.
  • If the project uses premises or needs to access land (e.g., collecting art materials), a statement regarding land tenure or access rights should be included with the application.
  • Formal quotes – less than 12 months old.

Advice on the preference of the round:

  • All new (start-up) applicants engage with IBA or a similar source of business support to develop their application. To find out more call the ABA Team on 1800 354 612.
  • The grants funding will expand the applicants’ benefit to Aboriginal people in the NT and will not substitute the applicants’ responsibility for maintaining assets and setting aside funds for replacing equipment.
  • The applicant demonstrates commitment to the business by making a financial co-contribution. An in-kind commitment is also beneficial but should not be presented as a substitute.
  • The business provides an increase in Aboriginal employment as a benefit of the project and may wish to enhance its application by developing an Indigenous Employment Plan.
  • The applicant is aware that grant funding can have tax implications for businesses.
  • Applicants who are planning to deliver the project to or with a group of Aboriginal people in the NT need to demonstrate agreement through letters of support.