Aboriginal Bush Traders and Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation
Aboriginal Bush Traders (ABT), first began as a very small community development program providing local artists with the opportunity to create and sell artworks. This initiative first ran from the Darwin Browns Mart precinct. The small group expanded quickly and then moved into the Historical Lyons Cottage on the Darwin Esplanade where they remained for many years. From the cottage, a cafe cart was implemented and relationships with community Indigenous Art Centres and independent Indigenous artists were grown along with product lines.
Today ABT offers a full cafe, gallery and retail space on the ground floor of the Charles Darwin Centre in Darwin City. We can provide local businesses with a space to host events, and bush food-inspired catering on and off-site. We also offer tasting plate and gallery tours and in 2022 trialled the use of a new food truck at the Telstra NATSIA Awards.
ABT continues to grow, with many future initiatives being developed around Indigenous employment and greater community engagement.
Ironbark was originally established as the Darwin Regional CDEP Incorporation in June 2000 following extensive consultations with Indigenous communities in the Darwin region. From these discussions, a unique governance model was developed with representation and participation based on regional community organisations rather than individual members.
The original concept was to establish an organisation with a core objective of providing relief and practical assistance to Aboriginal people of the broader Darwin Region. The organisation aimed to alleviate and overcome the effects of poverty, sickness, helplessness, suffering, misfortune, and serious economic disadvantage by assisting, preparing and encouraging people to seek employment opportunities.
In 2009, the organisation formally included the words “Indigenous Advancement" in its name. This move was in recognition of its progression over 10 years from being primarily a service delivery organisation to one that also proactively promotes issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the region, and their desire to genuinely be engaged in the evolving economic opportunities of the region.
In 2014, the organisation chose to strengthen governance by ceasing as an Incorporated Association and becoming an Aboriginal Corporation under the CATSI Act.
No. 121, Level 2 Building 1
631 Stuart Highway
Berrimah NT 0828
Phone: (08) 8931 6600