Art, culture and bush harvest products are integral to our communities and have strong potential for creating jobs and developing our communities through Indigenous tourism. Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation established Aboriginal Bush Traders in 2008 to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to engage in these economic activities in a sustainable way. The business closed in 2012 and was re-opened using a new economic model in 2015.
To support the marketing and sale of products and services, Aboriginal Bush Traders has established a vibrant hub at the historic Lyons Cottage, based on the Esplanade in Darwin. The hub retails products from artists and community arts centres, operates a café with Indigenous foods, delivers cultural tourism opportunities for visitors, and provides for a unique venue to host small events.
Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation
Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation (Ironbark) is a not-for-profit organisation based in Darwin, Northern Territory. We successfully deliver community, employment and economic services to urban, regional and remote communities throughout the Darwin Daly Region. Our aim is to improve lives and transform Aboriginal communities through tailored advocacy for, and development of employment services, enterprise, economic and community development and business solutions.
Ironbark was originally established as Darwin Regional CDEP Incorporated in June 2000 following extensive consultations with the 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 a not for profit organisation with a core object 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, our organisation formally included the words “Indigenous Advancement" into our name. This move was in recognition of our progression over our first 10 years from being primarily a service delivery organisation to one that also proactively promotes the issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our region, and their desire to genuinely be engaged in the evolving economic opportunities of the region.
In 2014, the organisation chose to strengthen their governance by ceasing as an Incorporated Association and becoming an Aboriginal Corporation under the CATSI Act.