Case Study:

Community Building in Jilkminggan

Project: Capability building and governance support
Client: Jilkminggan Community Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC)
Location: East of Mataranka, NT

Jilkminggan Community Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC)


Jilkminggan is an aboriginal community of around 300 people, 2 hours south east of Katherine. Jilkminggan was set up in the 1970’s by Mangarrayi people who are of this ‘Mangarrayi country’, relocating from Elsey Station (the setting of Jeannie Gunn’s book ‘We of the Never Never’). These families have been joined by other family groups who now live at Jilkminggan.

The Jilkminggan Community Aboriginal Corporation (JCAC) is a small organisation that has achieved many good things, such as establishing an opportunity shop to generate funds to support their artists. JCAC is likely to grow significantly and take on more responsibility, if their plans to take over management of the leases on houses in the community are successful.

Helena Lardy, Manager of JCAC (who until last year worked in this role in a voluntary capacity) knows that this increased responsibility will potentially bring more income - and more expenses - to the community, and if they do it well, other opportunities that will benefit the families will come with it.

She and the Board needed to better understand their responsibilities, think about how to be financially sustainable and how to work well with stakeholders.

With funding from Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory (APO NT), JCAC was able to get some external help to get ready for the next stage in their journey of supporting the Jilkminggan community.

Matrix’s Involvement

Matrix worked with the Manager to deliver a series of four workshops with the Board, to build their understanding of their role and responsibilities, compliance, the organisation’s financials, and working effectively together to achieve best results for their community.

During these workshops it became clear that an additional session on working effectively with government would be beneficial to help JCAC to manage and communicate with this important stakeholder.

Matrix also developed a Governance Toolkit for ongoing reference for the Board; and supports the Manager with coaching and mentoring by phone on an ongoing basis.


JCAC continues to build their capabilities to improve conditions and opportunities for their community.