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Tangentyere Council

Category: Organisation
Sub Category:Aboriginal Community Council
Location:Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
Summary Information:
Tangentyere Council was founded in the mid 1970s, and became an incorporated body on 6th February 1979. It was established to assist Aboriginal people, who had been living for a great many years on the outskirts of Alice Springs, to gain some form of legal tenure of the land they were living on in order to obtain water, electricity and housing. The Northern Territory Government had a policy, which is still current, that it will not provide services where there is no permanent tenure of land.

After negotiations with Government, Tangentyere Council obtained legal status to 18 parcels of land in the form of Special Purpose Leases, which have since been converted to Leases in Perpetuity. These 18 areas are known as Town Camps. Each Town Camp has an Incorporated Association (Housing Association) whose members are the residents. Each Association is completely autonomous with its own Constitution and Rules.

Tangentyere Council members are the 18 Housing Associations. The Council has its own Constitution and an elected Executive Council whose members are elected from the Office Bearers of the member Housing Associations.
Detailed Information:
Tangentyere's Annual Report 2000-2001 states that its Mission Statement is: 'To provide sustainable services and programs, which are culturally sensitive, innovative, effective and efficient, which meet the needs and aspirations of the Alice Springs Town Camp communities, Housing Associations and others.'

The Council's Vision Statement says: 'The central objectives of Tangentyere Council are to relieve the poverty, sickness, destitution, distress, misfortune and/or helplessness of Aboriginal people in Central Australia. Based on these criteria, our vision is to provide, as leaders in Aboriginal development, and in a culturally sensitive manner, the highest ethical and professional standards in the provision of services to the Alice Springs Town Camp communities, Housing Associations and others, whilst influencing change where appropriate and recognising individual human rights and community needs and expectations.'


Tangentyere Council receives funding from both Commonwealth and Territory agencies, the main funding body being the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. The Council has mostly addressed the problem of the provision of basic services and has gone a long way to address housing needs. The types of programs now being funded include health, education, local government, housing and administration.

Tangentyere Council provides a range of services to the Aboriginal people resident in the 18 Town Camps. Some of the services are available to Aboriginal people from the general Alice Springs township area and remote communities. These services include:

  • A Night Patrol Service. This service liaises with the NT Police and other Agencies, such as DASA, Alice Springs Hospital and Central Australian Aboriginal Alcohol Programs Unit;
  • Wardens and Return to County Program. This program assists people from remote communities, who get stranded in Alice Springs, to return to their communities. The program works in partnership with Alice Springs Town Council;
  • Housing Programs, which include building, maintenance and repair.
  • Tangentyere Bank Agency (Westpac). The Bank Agency has an ATM;
  • Community Development Employment Program (CDEP);
  • Homemakers/Old People's Service;
  • Youth activities and after school care;
  • Landcare and horticulture;
  • Tangentyere Job Shop. This is an independent employment service;
  • Centrelink Office, opened by Centrelink on Tangentyere Council premises. There is also a Family Assistance Office which is part of Centrelink; and
  • Financial Counselling Service.

  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Tangentyere Council and Alice Springs Town Council - Signatory
  • Alice Springs Town Camp Agreement - Signatory

  • References

    Book Chapter
    Shain, K, Genat, W & Wensing, E, (2006) 'Agreement-Making in the Local Context: Case Studies from Regional Australia' in Marcia Langton et al (eds), Settling with Indigenous People: Modern treaty and agreement-making (The Federation Press, 2006).
    Media Release
    Alice Springs Town Council (2000) Memorandum of Understanding between Tangentyere Council and Alice Springs Town Council
    Alice Springs Town Council (2000) New Era of Cooperation between Tangentyere and Alice Springs Councils
    Report
    Tangentyere Council Inc (2001) Tangentyere Council Inc Annual Report 2000-2001

    Glossary

    Aboriginal Community Council (Australia)

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