Working in remote indigenous communities offers many personal rewards, learning about traditional indigenous culture and language, as well as experiencing the spectacular landscape surrounding our communities. The many friendships you will form, and experiences you share will stay with you for life.

Working on remote indigenous communities offers many personal rewards, learning about traditional indigenous culture and language, as well as experiencing the spectacular landscape surrounding our communities. The many friendships you will form, and the experiences you share will stay with you for life.

ALPA is a major source of employment for the communities on which it operates. We are one of the largest financially independent Indigenous employers in Australia, with over 800 indigenous employees making up 83% or our total employment. Stores and our other businesses offer real jobs in an environment where there are few. It is a prerequisite of ALPA managing a store that the community wants to have active participation in the operation of their store at all levels.

ALPA wages are one of the few sources of independent income in communities. Last financial year, over $7 million in wages alone was paid to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander staff in communities. ALPA staff enjoy above award conditions, we provide training to support career development, as well as create jobs through CDP services and Community Businesses.

Visitors and New Arrivals

If you have never traveled to an Aboriginal community before it can be quite a daunting but very rewarding experience. You can download the Remote Ready Guide to working and living in Aboriginal communities. Note that this is only a guide resource and it is best to contact the respective Land Council for further clarification around living and working remotely, as communities can vary vastly.

Permits

To travel into Aboriginal communities you need a permit. If you are not travelling with ALPA staff you need to organise your own permits through the respective land councils.

Northern Land Council

The Central Land Council

Alindilyakwa Land Council (Groote)

Tiwi Land Council


Even if you have a permit to travel into communities, from time to time the community may be closed at short notice. This may be due to death or for cultural reasons. It is always wise to check immediately with the respective Land Council prior to travelling to ensure things are okay.

Restricted Access

When visiting or first arriving in a community do not wander unless you know where you are allowed to go or you are with a community member who has invited you to go somewhere or to see something. Seek advice about restricted areas that you may not enter: there may be a ceremony or funeral happening, or it may be a sacred site. Wandering into any such event is not acceptable and would be highly offensive, likely causing distress and difficulties.

Alcohol restrictions

Make sure you obey local laws. Almost all Yolŋu communities prohibit alcohol and it is illegal to take alcohol into them. Fines are extremely high and can also include forfeiture of the vehicles that are used to carry the illegal substance in. This includes cars and aeroplanes.

Check which communities are classed as restricted 'Dry Areas' here

Photography

If you wish to take photographs or film, seek permission first. Stop and think about it - would you like strangers in your street snapping photos of you, your family and home? If in doubt seek permission or advice first.

The Northern Land Council has created this guide for 'best practice' for media on Aboriginal Lands.