Your community’s future
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, investing Native Title funds through a Native Title trust helps ensure their money benefits the whole community, now and in the future.
The trust structure enables funds to be distributed fairly and sustainably. It helps ensure the money is used to deliver the outcomes most sought by the community. Whether that’s health, education, self-sufficiency, cultural preservation or to drive future financial independence via training, business or property ownership or on-country development.
As one of Australia’s most experienced trustees and investment managers, Perpetual can help your community manage money and administer the trust. Most importantly our approach is always based on listening to and acting on community needs.
COMMUNITIES THAT SHAPE THE LIVES OF THEIR MEMBERS
Leading Indigenous communities in Australia shape and change the lives of their members. Amongst the communities Perpetual works with we find common hopes – and it is these aspirations that drive the success of the communities and of the people who live in them.
Working with Communities
The most important outcome of having a well-structured Native Title trust, good investment management and deep community involvement is the tangible benefits it brings to communities. Here are just a few examples from some of the communities Perpetual has worked with.
The Larrakia Ichthys LNG Foundation Trust (LIFT) near Darwin, is focused on education, community and culture and support for the elderly. As Trustee, Perpetual works with the INPEX Larrakia Advisory Committee on funding decisions. In its first two years the LIFT funded a School Participation Program accessed by 148 Larrakia students from 53 schools around Australia. It established a scholarship program and an upskilling program that builds skills in areas including land remediation and construction. LIFT is also supporting a study that will underpin a comprehensive Larrakia elder care program.
In 2019, Kokatha Mining Services, a subsidiary of the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation, applied for funding for plant, equipment and working capital to commence a services contract at OZ Minerals’ Carapateena mine.
Perpetual worked with the Trust Advisory Council (TAC), reviewing the finances, human resource and capital equipment needs under the contract and provided advice to the TAC regarding the funding decision.
This contract now provides direct employment of 7 people and is pivotal in increasing access further training and commercial opportunities for Kokatha community members through the growing KMS operations and onsite profile.
In 2019, Perpetual’s Native Title team worked with a Pilbara-based native title group to roll out a home ownership program that provides financial support to members for the purchase, building, renovation, maintenance or mortgage repayments of a home.
In 18 months, home ownership in one Pilbara community increased from 2% to 22%.
Perpetual and the community also worked on improving personal financial management. The number of community members with a valid will has now increased by 50%.
In early 2020, Perpetual consulted with Trust advisory councils, government and local leaders to expedite the rapid release of emergency funds from their trusts to help communities combat COVID-19.
Given distance and isolation, some communities faced serious food security challenges. As Trustee, Perpetual worked with local government and logistics businesses to ensure supplies got to communities:
- Some 450 extra-large food packages were purchased and distributed to remote and regional Aboriginal communities
- Over one million dollars of financial assistance was distributed to numerous beneficiaries across three communities
Walking beside you on your journey
Perpetual provides a wide range of services to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities. Those services are tailored to the needs of each community. Perpetual also works closely with other stakeholders – government, business, Aboriginal Corporations, NGOs, NFPs and philanthropists – to deliver for communities.
A trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee agrees to hold and manage assets for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries).
The community is the heart of a Native Title trust. Indeed, Native Title trusts are designed to put control in the hands of your whole community, rather than individuals. At Perpetual we make sure the community stays in control.
In some communities Perpetual works with, elected representatives from the community who decide how the community benefit from their Native Title trust.
Other communities set up an advisory council made up of members elected by the community, who work with the trustee to plan and budget for the trust. You can also act as your own trustee with representatives of the community in control of all aspects of the trust. (This can be more expensive than working with a professional trustee and is complex to maintain over time).
Whatever approach is decided on, the key is that the design and management of the trust is tuned to achieving your community’s goals:
- We work with you to design a trust management plan based on your community's priorities, goals and vision. This becomes the long-term strategy for the trust.
- Perpetual is responsible and accountable for the complex and time-consuming legal, accounting and administrative duties of a trustee.
- We help communities structure their trust to suit their needs. A full-service Native Title trust is typically set up by communities with large sums to manage. For communities managing smaller funds, Perpetual’s Native Title and Community Trust provides the same vital investment, trustee, distribution and compliance services – but with lower costs and easier admin.
Native Title trusts are designed to ensure all community assets – land, property, lease income etc. - are working to meet community needs and that the proceeds are distributed fairly and sustainably and in line with the rules laid down by the community (and the law).
It’s crucial that those assets are well-managed – that is, invested prudently and successfully. That means:
- Invested to generate cashflow that can be distributed to meet the community members’ short-term needs.
- Invested to grow over time – to counter the effects of inflation and, more importantly, to grow the capital base so the Trust can provide for community needs long into the future.
- Invested in line with any ethical considerations important to the community.
- Invested using a clear, carefully designed investment strategy that balances risk and return and is tuned to the needs of the community.
Perpetual is a large Australian investment manager. We invest money for individuals, businesses, superannuation funds, foreign investors and charities.
Our long-held investment philosophy – protect and grow – is ideally suited to investing for Indigenous communities. It is focused on protecting their hard-won capital, deploying it effectively in the community and growing that capital to fund communities’ long-term needs.
In addition to funding infrastructure and development – clinics, community facilities, cultural enrichment – Native Title trusts have an important role to play in supporting individual community members. They do this by funding vital services – everything from doctor and hospital fees, medical transport, educational grants – and much more.
This is important work, generating real benefits for community members. However, it is time consuming and complicated and there are a range of legal, ethical and sustainability concerns that need to be managed.
Our Executive Office team helps communities manage these important services (many of this team come from communities themselves). The payments team helps communities verify, reconcile and make these payments. The call centre is run by experienced staff with financial expertise and deep knowledge of Trust rules and law. This means all activities are managed efficiently, are fair and in line with the trust deed.
OUR TEAM – IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Pamela Kaye is a lawyer and chartered secretary with 18 years’ experience working with Aboriginal clients. She has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors company directors’ course. Pamela has oversight of Perpetual’s native title team and builds high performing teams.
She has a heart for community and is frequently asked to participate in difficult or controversial projects because she has broad experience, can think innovatively and deliver solutions. Pamela has significant management experience and has built broad community consent to controversial projects through structured systems of engagement. This has involved managing stakeholder engagement, government relations, mining projects, tenure and environmental approvals.
Pamela specialises in implementing complex governance structures to ensure that boards and advisory councils make informed decisions, based on professional advice, which are in accord with community goals and aspirations.
Adrian has extensive experience facilitating relationships between indigenous communities, the resources sector and government agencies. Adrian has a passion for social innovation in partnership with community leaders and brings a focus on governance and compliance.
He started his career with local government where he worked on a broad range of environmental projects, eventually leading the sustainability policy team at Adelaide City Council. Adrian also worked in the oil and gas industry where he coordinated the preparation of corporate social responsibility reports and oversaw a compliance program with native title and Aboriginal and cultural heritage agreements. Adrian also worked with the South Australian Department of Environment and Water where he coordinated the program for the co-management of national parks with traditional owners.
Adrian is based in Adelaide where he assists with the management of Perpetual’s South Australian and Northern Territory native title trust clients.
He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours, and a Master of Business Administration.
Helping build communities that make life better for their members
As a licensed trustee, Perpetual is accountable to the communities it serves and is also accountable to several regulatory bodies. That underpins the partnership with communities – but is only one of the reasons to partner with Perpetual:
- We are one of Australia’s largest and most experienced trustees. Established in 1886, we have looked after some of our clients for over five generations.
- We have a proven track record of protecting and growing money for our clients over the long term.
- Most importantly, we have experience working closely with Aboriginal communities across Australia. We have a dedicated Native Title trusts and Investments team and work with over 15 Aboriginal community clients across South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
- We are also proud to be supporting Aboriginal people and businesses through the following organisations.
For more information, contact our national Native Title trusts team on 08 9224 4400 or 08 8418 5656 or by emailing email@example.com
IMPACT provides insight into important issues for philanthropists and the not-for-profit sector. It shares thought provoking ideas and best practice examples that aim to both stimulate and motivate a passion for philanthropy with Impact.