Centrefarm Aboriginal Horticulture Limited (ABN 32 101 614 760) is an Aboriginal-owned not-for-profit Australian company limited by guarantee. It was established by Aboriginal landowners in Central Australia to drive the economic development of Aboriginal land for the benefit of the Traditional Owners. Originally this was conceived as horticultural-based, but since incorporation in 2002 the company's services have expanded to include all aspects of economic development consultancy, and Centrefarm has become a key player in this arena, bringing together a range of skills and knowledge across disciplines as varied as agronomy, civil engineering, anthropology and business.
Centrefarm's role is to identify commercially viable opportunities that provide the foundations for new regional economies and support the generation of jobs. The focus is on economic rather than community development. From a base in Alice Springs, Centrefarm now operates across the Northern Territory and into Western Australia, and has received requests for its servcies from other states.
Centrefarm operates in the Top End under the licensed brand name TopEnd Farm.
What We Do
Centrefarm's major role is to scope commercially viable economic opportunities on Aborignal land, providing Traditional Owners and their representative bodies with information on those opportunties presented by their human and natural resources and geogrpahic location. Following this, the company conducts feasibility studies that outline suitable legal structures, funding options and processes for development, and writes bankable business plans for proposed enterprises. Centrefarm also acts as a manager for Aboriginal companies and has a program of 'two-way' (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) knowledge sharing on land management and governance. This engagement builds the capacity of the company to act in the best interests of Traditional Owners, whilst assisting Aboriginal directors to successfully combine cultural obligations with statutory regulations in the management of commercial enterprises.
Centrefarm and the Northern and Central Land Councils
A cooperative and effective working relationship exists between Centrefarm and the two largest Land Councils in the NT: the Northern and the Central Land Councils. These relationships are essential for the successful development of Aboriginal Land in the Northern Territory, which exists under a form of inalienable communal tenure called Aboriginal Freehold.
The Land Councils are Commonwealth statutory bodies created under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 to represent the Indigenous peoples of the Northern Territory. They are also Native Title Representative Bodies under the Commonwealth's Native Title Act 1993, and are required under the legislation to identify, consult, advise and represent Aboriginal landowners in relation to any proposal affecting Aboriginal land.
Centrefarm’s functions complement the statutory role of the Land Councils by pro-actively developing Aboriginal land assets for the benefit of the Traditional Owners.