History

History of the ILSC

The ILSC (previously the Indigenous Land Corporation), is a corporate Commonwealth entity established in 1995 to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to realise economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits that the ownership and management of land, water and water related rights can bring.

Timeline

1992
1992

Mabo judgement

On 3 June 1992 the Mabo judgment by the High Court of Australia recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional title to land had survived British settlement. However, the judgment said some extinguishment of traditional title had occurred.

1995
1995

The Land Account and ILC established

In February the Keating government responds to the Mabo judgement, in part, by establishing the The Land Fund and Indigenous Land Corporation (ATSIC Amendment) Act 1995 and creating the ILC. The Land Fund, now called the Land Account, aims to help Indigenous people to acquire land and manage it in a sustainable way, to provide economic, social and cultural benefits for themselves and for future generations. The Land Fund receives money from the Federal Budget for the next 10 years to establish a capital base.

1995
1995

The Indigenous Land Corporation began operations

The ILC begins operations on 1 June 1995
1995
1995

First ILC Board meeting

The first Board comprising David Ross (Chair), Peter Yu (Deputy Chair), Lowitja O’Donoghue, Noel Pearson, and Steve Gordon meets on 4 June. Their focus is on land acquisition, as land management remained an ATSIC responsibility until 1 July 1997.
1996
1996

First National Indigenous Land Strategy (NILS)

The first NILS covering the years 1996-2001 is tabled in Parliament by the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Senator the Hon. John Herron, on 6 May 1996. A companion series of seven Regional Indigenous Land Strategies based on the NILS is approved by the Board in June 1996.
1996
1996

First land purchase and grant

West Swan Primary School, near Perth in WA is purchased on behalf of the Manguri Land Enterprises Incorporated. It was granted to them in November 1996.
1999
1999

Second ILC Chair and Board appointed

Sharon Firebrace appointed as ILC Chair along with four new Directors.
2001
2001

Second National Indigenous Land Strategy

The ILC’s Board revises the first National Indigenous Land Strategy. The new NILS reflects a shift from purely acquisition to long-term, sustainable land use planning.

2001
2001

Third ILC Chair and Board appointed

Shirley McPherson appointed Chair of the ILC Board in August 2001. The Board focuses on building landholder capacity and on delivering economic benefits from land. Applications for urban property increase and in 2005-06 almost half the land purchased in the previous three years was urban.
2003
2003

Kimberley Indigenous Management Support Services

In January 2003, the ILC signs a three-year agreement with the WA Agriculture and Food Dept. for KIMSS to support commercial pastoral activity across Indigenous-owned stations. Now called the Indigenous Landholder Service, it delivers extension services and land management funding across six large regions of WA and around 70 Indigenous-owned properties.
2003
2003

Major emphasis on employment and training

The ILC initiates the IPP with the Northern Land Council, Central Land Council, Northern Territory Government, the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association and Commonwealth Department of Employment. The IPP increases production on Indigenous-owned NT cattle properties to provide employment and training in the pastoral industry.
2004-5
2004-5

Redfern Public School purchased

The ILC purchases the former Redfern Public School in Sydney. The purchase is part of a strategy to address the disadvantage of city-based Indigenous people. The ILC funds construction of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. The NCIE runs sporting, educational, cultural and leadership programs to benefit young Indigenous people from around Australia.
2006
2006

Indigenous Protected Areas partnership

The ILC enters into a three-year partnership with the Commonwealth Department of the Environment to develop at least 10 new IPAs. By 2009, 19 IPAs are declared.
2007
2007

National Indigenous Land Strategy 2007-2012

The NILS 2007-2012 focuses on the delivery of education, training and employment outcomes from Indigenous owned and managed land and on monitoring of benefits achieved.
2007
2007

Black Theatre Building

Work starts on the site of the former Black Theatre in Redfern, Sydney, a groundbreaking urban Indigenous cultural site in the 1970s and 1980s. The ILC constructs a three-storey, multi-purpose office building to house Indigenous organisations including a purpose-built radio station and training facility for Gadigal Information Service which broadcasts Koori Radio.
2008
2008

Training to Employment program rolled out

The ILC allocates $9 million over three years to expand the T2E model to 12 ILC-run businesses.
2008
2008

New businesses open at Gunbalanya

Gunbalanya Station and Meats is established and trains and employs pastoral and meat workers from the Gunbalanya community.
2009
2009

Mossman Gorge Centre project begins

Land near the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal Community is purchased to build a cultural and environmental tourism hub to be staffed by local Indigenous people, and to offer training in hospitality for young Indigenous people.
2010
2010

National Centre of Indigenous Excellence opens

In January 2010, the NCIE opens for business. The NCIE develops as a respected institution in Redfern and nationally, visited by 5000 Indigenous young people each year.
2010
2010

Fish River acquired

The ILC acquires the Fish River wilderness property in partnership with the Commonwealth Environment Department and a number of charitable environmental groups. The property becomes a model of managing the environment and for Indigenous economic benefit from carbon credits.
2010
Aerial shot of the Ayers Rock resort
2010

Ayers Rock Resort purchased

The ILC buys Ayers Rock Resort to provide employment and training benefits for Indigenous people nationally. A new subsidiary, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is created to operate the ILC’s tourism portfolio. A training academy is established at the resort to provide young Indigenous people with accredited training in hospitality and the resort significantly increases its level of Indigenous staff. When the ILC buys the resort Indigenous employees represent 1% of the workforce. Indigenous employees now represent 32% of the workforce.
2011
2011

Fourth ILC Chair and Board appointed

Dr Dawn Casey is appointed as ILC Chair along with three new Directors. A further two new Directors are appointed in 2013.
2011
2011

T2E program expanded

In June 2011, an additional $8.6 million extends the T2E program for three years. The extended initiative includes establishing a shearing training school at Merriman Station near Brewarrina, NSW. Trainees are provided with board, wages, and training integrated into the operation of the businesses.
2012
2012

Mossman Gorge Centre opens

Mossman Gorge Centre opens in June 2012, with 90% Indigenous staffing. More than 240,000 people go through the doors in the first year of operation.
2013
2013

New 2013-17 National Indigenous Land Strategy

The 2013-2017 NILS is released with a stronger focus on collaboration across regions with Indigenous organisations, government agencies and industry bodies, and includes a new ILC Native Title Policy.
2013
2013

Clontarf College WA gifted to ILC

The Christian Brothers organisation in Perth gifts a valuable inner-city property to the ILC, including land and historic buildings belonging to Clontarf College, founded in 1901 on the banks of the Canning River. The Clontarf College site is a multi-use campus which houses major Indigenous service-delivery organisations in WA.
2013
2013

Australia’s first sale of carbon credits

In an Australian first, the ILC sells 25,884 Australian Carbon Credit Units from the Fish River Fire Project to Caltex Australia. Sales of ACCUs have continued each year, providing revenue for land management, training and jobs on the property.
2014
2014

Review into ILC and Indigenous Business Australia

In December 2014, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion, announces a review of ILC and IBA One aspect of the review is to examine the option a merging the two agencies. The government later decides not to proceed with a merger.
2015
2015

Our Land Our Future

The ILC’s Our Land Our Future program is launched. The ILC supports land acquisition and management projects by funding projects, working with co-investors or via enterprises under partnerships or a subsidiary. The Board commits up to $30 million over three years for land-based projects over $100,000.
2015
2015

First Board meeting for NIPE

National Indigenous Pastoral Enterprises (NIPE) becomes a fully-functioning subsidiary with its own Board of Directors chaired by ILC director Neil Westbury.
2015
2015

Our Land Our Jobs

The Our Land Our Jobs program (formerly T2E) is launched as a central part of the ILC’s operations. OLOJ operates at training centres on ILC properties and businesses and guarantees a job offer on an ILC enterprise or with other employers.