Local solutions

Community construction rebuilds Galiwin'ku houses

A group of Indigenous men in safety clothing looking at the camera, some standing in a line, others crouched in front


In 2015, Galiwin'ku, a community on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, was left devastated by Cyclone Lam and Cyclone Nathan in consecutive months. Homes were destroyed and roads and infrastructure were washed away, and as a result many people were forced to live in tents and other temporary accommodation.

The local community has been heavily involved in the rebuild of Galiwin'ku, providing residents with the opportunity to take up real jobs and training as well as business enterprise opportunities. During the construction phase Indigenous employment participation was estimated to be as high as 50 per cent.

Funding was provided to rebuild 47 public houses that were destroyed. As of October 2016, 40 houses had been built and a further 4 houses were under construction.During the rebuild, Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA) established a concrete batching business in Galiwin’ku and Gumatj Corporation set up a concrete block business and a truss assembly facility in Nhulunbuy. These enterprises provided much needed employment and training opportunities for the local Yolngu people.

Back to chapter seven