WALKING TOGETHER: THE MARALINGA TJARUTJA AND TJUNTJUNTJARA PEOPLE AND PERPETUAL

Oak Valley

Perpetual Private Insights

The Oak Valley and Tjuntjuntjara communities lie on Maralinga Tjarutja and Spinifex lands, in the heart of the Spinifex country that spans across South Australia and Western Australia.

New trust arrangements were implemented for Maralinga and Tjuntjuntjara Traditional Owners in 1994 to build a better future for Traditional Owners and their organisations through providing socially beneficial financial assistance.

The communities elected four Traditional Owners to act as co-trustees, representing the community and their needs in decisions around how the money is used. Perpetual, as trustee and investment manager, works closely with the Traditional Owners, helping them to grow their funds and achieve what they want for their future.

The money in the trusts belongs to the Maralinga Tjartuja and Tjuntjuntjara people. Perpetual’s role is to provide guidance and governance to make sure that all suggestions and recommendations comply with the trust deed and relevant laws, as well as providing advice around the budget to ensure the trust can support immediate needs as well as plans for the future.


“I think it’s very important that we do look after our money so it can last a while. I think the way things are now with the government tightening down on things, it’s very important that we do look after our money.”


Traditional Owner, Maralinga Tjarutja people

The partnership between Perpetual and the Maralinga Tjarutja people recognises the strengths and knowledge both parties bring to the table. The Traditional Owners and their community members know their country, their people and their culture, while Perpetual knows about trust management, investments and the best way to get returns on their money.

Some of the things the communities have decided to fund are:

  • A new roof over the basketball courts in Oak Valley, to protect children in the extreme heat and also act as a rainwater catchment
  • A scholarship education fund to promote kids staying in school
  • The establishment of a second community, Ilkurlka
  • A mechanical workshop and mechanic’s wage in Tjuntjuntjara
  • The local Oak Valley store, helping provide access to cost effective, healthy food
  • Cultural events
  • Accommodation and transport to major centres to support community members who need medical assistance
  • Upkeep, maintenance and investment in Maralinga Village, including supporting a tourism business to help the community become sustainable

To find out more about how we can work with you to help achieve what’s important to your community, please contact us. 

Read more about Maralinga

Native Title Trusts and Investments team