Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 20 Jun 2012



The Northern Territory news Wed 20 Jun 2012

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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www.ntnews.com.au Wednesday, June 20, 2012. NT NEWS. 21 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:20-JGE:21 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K 1 0 0 3 8 5 5 Mission Statement Our mission is to conduct an effi cient retail business emphasising customer service, nutrition, staff development, training and education. We strive to enhance the social and economic development of our members, giving primacy to their cultural heritage, dignity and desire for equality with their fellow Australians. The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation overview How ALPA started the era of self determination The introduction of a Training Allowance in 1969 by the Gorton Liberal government is arguably the single biggest event leading to the creation of ALPA. It was a time of dramatic change, with mission ration shops unable to cope with the new cash based economies. The 1967 referendum is remembered as the leading to the right for Aborigines to vote. In the Northern Territory the Welfare Branch became the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1972. It was the era of Self Determination. Incorporated Community Councils were established to manage the change in government policy, with funding shifting away from the missions. The mission economic and enterprise base that had provided signifi cant employment to Yolngu over the previous 20 years was in decline. To determine its future directions the church formed a Commission and sought feedback from Yolngu in the region. An important distinction was established; Yolngu were interested in a partnership of self determination but felt unready for self management. In 1972 the Methodist Mission became a separate agency of the Uniting Church in North Australia. A new agency the churches development arm was called Civic and Economic Development Council Inc. (CEDAR). It was later renamed the Aboriginal Advisory and Development Service (AARDS). AARDS employees were recruited as Community Advisors to support the newly formed Community Councils. ALPA came into being at the same time. ALPA Incorporates with 7 stores ALPA was offi cially incorporated on the 20th of June 1972 under the Association Incorporations Act (1936) of the Northern Territory of Australia, with its head offi ce situated at 5 Knuckey Street Darwin. We began as a co-operative of community stores in seven Arnhemland communities. We have come a long way in 40 years, from small, counter sales stores in tin sheds, to fully self-service, air-conditioned stores offering a wide range of quality products in remote communities. ALPAs initial members were seven community stores: Warruwi, Gapuwiyak, Galiwinku, Milingimbi, Minjilang, Ramingining and Yirrkala. After cyclone Tracy ALPA owed almost $1m to purchase and upgrade plant and equipment. The early successful operation of the stores enabled the loan to be repaid within three years (Ajurumu and Yirrkala stores left ALPA in the 1980s). Since that time ALPA has been fi nancially independent, with no operational or fi nancial connection to the church or reliant on any other external funding. ALPA, as a retailer, is one of the largest fi nancially independent employers of Aboriginal people in Australia. Over the years with prudent use of modest surpluses, ALPA has developed community and vocationally related educational resources and programs, assisted members with small business ventures and implemented a health and nutrition strategy. ALPA also sponsors many community events in our member communities. ALPAs success is based on forty years of experience and successful achievements and from the continuing development of Aboriginal people within the context of their own organisation. ALPA works independently but cooperatively with government agencies and other service providers to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for our members while reducing dependency and disadvantage. Working with other communities. In the early 1980s a community from outside the ALPA group asked for assistance in managing their store. The store was in fi nancial diffi culty and the community lacked the retail expertise to keep the store fi nancially viable. The community however, still wanted to retain ownership and have real input into the store. This was the beginning of ALPAs consultancy store service, which currently manages twelve enterprises owned by other community organisations. A successful business model ALPA, has for 40 years, developed its successful business model of Yolnu and Balanda (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) people working together to deliver a business model based on sound commercial principles with a benevolent mission. This is a proven model developed in a uniquely cross cultural environment in Australias most remote regions, successful where many others have failed. A pragmatic approach of working appropriately within the environment in which we operate has achieved a strong, sustainable enterprise for its Yolngu members within the context of their own enterprise. ALPAs strength is its strong governance principles represented through its Yolnu Chairperson & Board of Directors and its fi nancial independence. The Board of Directors set the corporations policy vision and direction for management, like any other corporate entity in Australia. This is achieved in an often unique, ever changing and at times volatile environment. Unity through Enterprise The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation ICN: 7137 Owned by the Yolngu residents of Minjilang, Milingimbi, Ramingining, Galiwinku and Gapuwiyak Communities NT Corporate Information ALPA Today ALPA has used its successful retail operations to meet its goals and vision the provision of quality retail services to remote communities and the social and economic development of its members. Its Yolnu members live or are culturally connected to the Arnhemland communities of Minjilang, Milingimbi, Ramingining, Galiwinku and Gapuwiyak where the retail stores are located. Members are represented by a Yolnu Board of Directors. Rev Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM is the current Chairman of the Board. ALPA, as a retailer, is one of the largest fi nancially independent employers of Aboriginal people in Australia. Over the years with prudent use of modest surpluses, ALPA has developed community and vocationally related educational resources and programs, assisted members with small business ventures and implemented a health and nutrition strategy. ALPA also sponsors many community events in our member communities. ALPA works independently but cooperatively with government agencies and other service providers to enhance the quality of life and opportunities for our members while reducing dependency and disadvantage. Training and Development ALPA as an RTO Since the1970s ALPA has recognised the importance of training and development for its staff, and we continue to focus on education, training and development as an integral part of our enterprise. ALPA is endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to offer nationally recognized qualifi cations. Presently ALPA delivers Certifi cate I to IV from the current Retail Services Training Package SIR07. Australian Retail Consultants Australian Retail Consultants was created by ALPA to assist community stores outside the group that have management in place but may need short to medium term assistance in improving or managing their business. Australian Retail Technology, also part of ALPA, specialises in improving, installing and supporting retail technology, specialising in remote and regional locations. Helping Yolnu ALPA started our Benevolent Programs, using the modest surplus funds generated from store operations to benefi t the whole community. Financial assistance for ceremonies, education, medical escorts and community events can be obtained through these programs. Traditional Credit Union ALPA initiated and largely fi nanced the establishment of the Traditional Credit Union in 1995, to provide banking facilities for members in remote communities across the Top End. Since its inception TCU has been independent of ALPA and has grown to have many branches in remote communities across the Northern Territory. Health and Nutrition In the 1980s, ALPA initiated a Nutrition Policy. Our ongoing focus is on improving the health and nutrition of Yol u people. Over the last several years we have focused on expanding and renovating our stores and takeaways, while extending trading hours to provide a better, more reliable service for our members in remote communities. Our Member Communities All ALPA member communities are traditional Aboriginal communities with restricted access. Permission to visit is required (by law) and can be made through the Northern Land Council. Total alcohol restrictions apply. All freight for the ALPA stores is barged to the communities on a weekly service. Other stores managed by ALPA have a mixture of Barge and Road Freight. The ALPA Group ALPA stores in red, Consulting or Managed stores in blue. Employment and Training ALPA is a major source of employment for its Arnhem Land communities. We are one of the largest fi nancially independent Indigenous employers in Australia. This is the same for the Consultancy Stores or managed stores in the group. Stores offer real jobs in an environment where there are few. It is a prerequisite of ALPA participating in a community enterprise that the community will have active participation in the operation of their enterprise from the beginning of our involvement and seeing an increasing participation as the enterprise grows. Across the ALPA group we employ more than 330 Indigenous people, and make employment of local Indigenous people a priority. Wages ALPA wages are one of the few sources of independent income in communities. Last fi nancial year, over $5 million in wages alone was paid to Indigenous staff in communities. ALPA staff enjoys above award conditions, and are wholly employed by the businesses with wages being an operational cost. In addition to this, we may employ some people under the CDEP program over and above operational requirements, providing training and enabling people to take up new positions in our stores as they become available. Training ALPA RTO The ALPA Board has always believed in the importance of education and training using a community development focus. Training has been a cornerstone of ALPA since the very early days, our goal to share the work and skills with Yolnu staff to develop them into supervisor and management roles. ALPA is a Registered Training Organisation, endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to offer nationally recognized qualifi cations. Presently ALPA delivers Certifi cate I to IV from the current Retail Services Training Package SIR07. ALPA specializes in on-the-job delivery to remote indigenous employees. All course materials are customized specifi cally for these client groups and encourages the participation of managers and supervisors in the accredited training process. Language, Literacy and Numeracy Training In conjunction with DEEWR, ALPA delivers Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) programs which focus on assisting indigenous workers in remote communities improve their foundation skills in language, literacy and numeracy. ALPA is a recognized industry leader and innovator in this fi eld and has delivered specialized LLN training programs in 20 remote communities for over 200 indigenous participants concurrently. ALPA as an RTO: ALPA has highly qualifi ed and experienced RTO staff supported by a large network of indigenous Cultural Mentors and Workplace Coaches. ALPA works with a number of government funding programs for indigenous training and workplace development including User Choice programs, Productivity Places Program and the Indigenous Training and Employment Program through the NT Department of Business and Employment. ALPA is recognized as a leader in indigenous workforce development and has developed a cross cultural induction model that has been recognized by the NT Department of Business and Employment as a best practice model. ALPA has developed extensive ACSF referenced learning and assessment resources customized for training indigenous learners on the job in remote workplaces. ALPA is recognized as an innovator and specialist in literacy resource customization for adult indigenous learners. ALPA personnel sit on a number of key industry advisory panels and boards such as SITAC, the Transfi eld Indigenous Advisory Panel, the Board of Outback Stores and the NT National VET E-learning Strategy Advisory Committee. Board of Directors ALPA members are represented by a Board of Directors. Each member community has two representatives on the Board. These two representatives are: A traditional landowners representative The community representative (generally nominated by the local store committee) Board Members are confi rmed at Annual General Meetings. Most Board Meetings are held in Arnhemland. At each Board meeting, ALPA engages an independent interpreter to assist in the explanation of fi nancial matters, policy, legal requirements, matters of organisational structure and issues relating to governance. The approach uses relevant language and concepts from traditional Aboriginal economic and legal parallels. The interpreter is there to promote 2-way understanding between Directors and Management. ALPA has developed a unique method to give a visual hand on and readily understood explanation of profi t and loss statements and budget planning sessions. This methodology, or 'money story,' is in demand at a number of other external Aboriginal client organisations. Similar activities to those conducted at the Board meeting are provided at a local level in each community in between, and in preparation for, each quarterly Board meeting; the participants being store workers and members of the ALPA store committee in each locality. ALPA reinvests self-generated funds ALPA believes that sound businesses should reinvest in capital improvements and repairs & maintenance for sustainability and to improve quality and service levels. ALPA budgets and spends capital on infrastructure and plant in both its own stores and its client businesses. In the last fi nancial year in its own businesses ALPA spent nearly $1.7 million on new, improving or maintaining infrastructure, plant and equipment. Finance ALPA has a fully resourced and profi cient fi nance department to carry out all related accounting work up to fi nal Balance Sheet stage, in readiness for external audit. ALPA prepares General Purpose Finance Statements in accordance with the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006, relevant Accounting Standards and Interpretations, and complies with law as applicable to not for profi t entities. The Financial reports also comply with International Financial Reporting Standards. ALPA is independently audited by Deloitte Touch Tomatsu annually with an unqualifi ed outcome over the years. ALPA has a well-structured Accounting team, working to accounting best practice with established, rigid internal controls. ALPAs fi nance team includes 5 qualifi ed accountants including our Chief Financial Offi cer, Mr David Glover who has been with the corporation over 10 years, and Mr Terry Sincock who has been with the corporation over 15 years. Supported by other accountants, and experienced book keeping staff ALPA can carry out all required accounting functions. HR Resources The Corporation has Human Resource and recruitment staff to ensure all people management, recruitment and Industrial Relations issues are managed effectively. ALPA manages all Human resource and recruitment needs in house, and has assisted businesses outside the group in the past. Insurance: ALPA goes to market regularly to ensure the corporation receives best value for money cover for all businesses under management. ALPA mitigates risk in all key areas including Commercial, Directors and Offi cers, Professional Indemnity, Motor Vehicle, and workers compensation. Insurance cover is reviewed constantly as situations change. ALPA ensures prudent cover is adequate in all areas. ALPA staff work with a broker to process claims expediently for all businesses across the group. ALPA utilises the services of Oamps Insurance Brokers, and TIO for insurance policy cover. Public Liability: The Corporation has public liability insurance to $20 million. For Further information visit our website on www.alpa.asn.au, alternatively email or call the Darwin Offi ce on darwin.offi ce@alpa.asn.au / 08 89446444