January 22nd, 2024


A lot has been happening at Developing East Arnhem Limited (DEAL) and across the region since our August newsletter.

Our team continues to grow steadily and it has been wonderful to welcome Daniel McCormick as our Northern Territory Government (NTG) appointed Director. Daniel is Acting Chief Executive Officer – Industry Capability Network NT, and he brings a passion for enabling regional economic development and expertise in local industry development, with experience in the not for profit, public and private sectors. He replaces Ian Smith who has been a Director with DEAL since its establishment. We thank Ian for his significant commitment and contribution over the last nine years. We also welcome Priyanka Biradar who joined us recently as our new Industry Analyst for Human Services.

Tourism remains an exciting priority with the resounding success of Arnhem Land’s most awesome music festival East Arnhem Live in August.  Expertly managed by Aris and Grimes they will work their magic again in 2024.  They will also be supporting our work on a Tourism Master Plan for the region through creating Sizzle Reels and a permit information video in English and Yolŋu Matha to increase awareness and improve compliance across campgrounds.

Image: Aris & Grimes at Dhalinybuy 

DEAL facilitated a Business Development Workshop in November with key partners from across the region where we came together to better understand the services and support we are currently (and could be) providing to Yolŋu individuals and businesses who are looking to create longer term opportunities for employment and growth. There are some exciting opportunities to come from this initial discussion and the group is looking forward to coming back together again early in 2024.

Priyanka and the team from PWC Indigenous Consulting facilitated a Nationial Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Aged Care workshop in December.  A Human Services priority, it brought together the main regional providers to work collaboratively to identify opportunities for improvement in the provision of aged and disability services in East Arnhem. DEAL will provide secretariat support to this group as it progresses action planning and implementation during 2024

Image: NDIS and Aged Care Service Providers Workshop

We continue to focus on Housing as an enabler for growth in the region.  We are pleased to have engaged Nous as consultants to work on the Regional Industry Housing Project for communities outside of the Peninsula.  Meanwhile the DEAL Housing Team has been working hard with significant progress on Town Flats Improvement projects. 

Reporting back on an earlier project, it has been wonderful to see how the Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation Bush Uni trial at Garrthalala Homeland has progressed. This has proved to be a successful trial with a number of students continuing on to progress their studies at the Wuyagiba Study Hub. One student is 24-year-old Desmond Munyarryun from Dhalinybuy Homeland who went on to complete three live-in semesters at Wuyagiba Study Hub. 

Image: Desmond Munyarryun

In his own words “The Bush university has been the key to open the door. Now I am going to study at Sydney and come back as a leader to work for my community at Dhalinybuy. I want to be a leader, support the family tourism business and work with the teachers.  I really want to see more young people from the homelands given this chance. I want to see the Garrthalala bush uni happen again early next year so that other people can also take the journey to further education and help our communities.”


One of the highlights of the year for Industry Development, was rounding off an investigation to support East Arnhem Ranger Groups. The purpose of the work was to explore the feasibility of revenue generating opportunities for rangers in East Arnhem and offer practical steps to access them.
The East Arnhem Rangers – Revenue generating opportunities project was delivered over 2022 – 2023, involving Arafura Swamp rangers, Crocodile Island Rangers, Dhimurru Rangers, and Yirralka Rangers. With the support of Social Ventures Australia (SVA), DEAL worked with ranger groups to explore the viability of opportunities in a range of markets including carbon, biodiversity, tourism, biosecurity, compliance, and tertiary education.
East Arnhem ranger groups now have the information and analysis of opportunities of interest to them, presented in a feasibility report format with clear and actionable recommendations to pursue. One deliverable was supporting a ranger group with a Fee for Service pricing framework, which resulted in increased revenue for services supplied to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Another highlight was to support one ranger group to understand feasibility surrounding ongoing management of their current operations to ensure financial sustainability.
A great way to round out the project and the year was the opportunity for DEAL, Dhimurru Rangers and SVA to present their findings to over 100 National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) attendees in a NIAA Brown Bag Lunch information session. We were able to champion project insights and findings in front of policy and decision makers, and to those who are responsible for leading the Indigenous Ranger Sector Strategy which is currently under development.
DEAL would like to thank co-funding contributors to the project the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, Northern Territory Government CM&C East Arnhem branch, as well the Karrkad Kanjdi Trust.

As we come to a close for 2023, the team at DEAL wish you and your families a safe and festive Christmas and New Year. DEAL will be closed from Friday 22 December and will be back in operation from Monday 8 January. We look forward to what is in store for us in 2024 and welcome any feedback you have on these updates and how best to share our work with you. 

Feel free to email me direct ceo@developingeastarnhem.com.au or give me a call on 0412 814 375.

Posted in: DEAL news