November 26th, 2021


After a busy and productive few months, I am pleased to share my last DEAL News with you. Today is my last day as CEO of this fantastic organisation. I would like to thank the DEAL Board, our Members, the DEAL team and our regional stakeholders for their contributions and support during my tenure as CEO. As we have been preparing for our CEO transition, it has provided an opportunity to reflect on the experience I have had working at DEAL. We have achieved some tremendous success and growth as an organisation over the last three years, and I personally have gained invaluable experience during my time here. Our achievements and my passion for this role would not have been possible without my incomparable team and the support and friendship of our stakeholders.

I look forward to watching DEAL and the East Arnhem region continue to go from strength to strength under the guidance of our Chair Michael Morley and our incoming CEO Paul Dobing, who will be well supported by our experienced staff. Having spent the last month working with Paul as part of our handover, I know he will be a valuable asset to the region with a shared passion for our work and genuine commitment to working in partnership with traditional owners, regional stakeholders and businesses.


This year’s October Business Month (OBM) hosted by Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade ran over four days in Nhulunbuy. The line up included event topics such as e-commerce, social media, digital marketing, tourism, joint ventures and finance. The program also featured local updates, workshops, TIO Tradie Talks, International Engagement Series, Territory success stories and networking opportunities for local businesses.

As part of OBM, DEAL facilitated a Visitor Servicing Workshop and supported Tourism East Arnhem to host their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a tourism industry networking event. The workshop covered how tourism businesses can work together to assist their customers by providing them with information about their destination. The AGM and networking event were a success, with a full committee nominated for the 2021/22 Financial Year.


Earlier this month we were pleased to launch our 2020/21 Annual Report, which highlights the achievements of DEAL over the past year. 

The 2020/21 Financial Year was again a busy and productive one for the DEAL team as we returned to our core business as the impacts of the global pandemic eased in the Northern Territory. We continued to work strategically and collaboratively with traditional owners, regional stakeholders and government to leverage resources and funding into the region, as well as supporting the entry of a range of new support offerings for East Arnhem businesses to ensure they are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities across the region.


DEAL recently provided investment support to Bulungkunum Corporation through our Economic Development Fund to support the establishment of their new Business Hub located in Ramingining. The Business Hub opened on Thursday 2 September as part of an initiative to support local Yolŋu entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and provide local employment opportunities to the East Arnhem region. The hub is made up of 100% Aboriginal-owned businesses, including an op-shop, a take-away café and a sports store, and aims to provide a solution to some of the ongoing challenges that the community is facing.

Congratulations to Bulungkunum Corporation and the Ramingining community on such an innovative project.


DEAL’s Industry Development Facilitator Chris Gillies has been awarded one of Economic Development Australia’s first ever scholarships to complete its National Education and Training Program.

This was a highly competitive scholarship round, with only three scholarships awarded Australia wide.

Chris plays a vital part in the DEAL team and has made significant contributions to the development of the East Arnhem economy during his three years in the region.

Congratulations Chris – you are a deserving winner and we look forward to watching you grow professionally as you achieve recognition as an Australian Certified Economic Developer.


DEAL, with recent support from Jawun secondee Ethan Bowering, is working on an important project related to additional revenue opportunities for East Arnhem ranger groups. 

In partnership with the region’s five Yolŋu ranger groups, this project will support groups to understand what the viable revenue raising opportunities for rangers are across several industries, and where viable, provide a high-level implementation plan for how rangers may be able to set up these revenue opportunities within their operations. Ranger groups have already been surveyed to identify opportunities of interest, with five opportunities short-listed to be investigated as part of this project. 

We thank Ethan for his hard work over the last six weeks on some of the key elements of this project, including developing a consultancy scope for this work in consultation with ranger groups. The consultancy is expected to commence in early 2022 and run for the first half of the year.

Posted in: DEAL news