June 22, 2024 10:53 PM

Aboriginal Development Fund now open


Often, the only hurdle stopping a great business idea from turning into reality are the funds needed to get it off the ground.

For the Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal community this hurdle might just be overcome thanks to MACHEnergy Mount Pleasant Operation Aboriginal Community Development Fund.

Fund committee chair Tony Jarrett and committee member and Aboriginal elder Aunty Jean Hands are encouraging people to apply for funding now with the latest round of the program due to close on November 20.

“Applications can be made under the banners of education, health, business, culture ” Mr Jarrett said.

On average the group supports about 12 projects a year and with no limit – however, there is a limit on the funding available, it started at $500,000 per year and is cpi indexed, this year the funding available is in excess of $650,000 – we don’t want people thinking they can apply for and receive $1M on the application amount, the Fund makes a significant contribution to the advancement of Aboriginal projects in the Upper Hunter.

“This is a great opportunity for local Aboriginal people who want to get something started to get in and do it,” Aunty Jean said.

The pair emphasized that given October is Small Business Month, the fund posed the opportunity for people to set up a small business.

While sponsored by MACHEnergy, the fund is managed by an independent committee who make their decisions under specific criteria with the overarching vision to deliver long-term, sustainable outcomes for the Upper Hunter Valley Aboriginal Community.

Applicants need to be residents of Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter or Singleton for a minimum of three years and can also be made to service providers, organisations or groups in the Upper Hunter with the express purpose of providing direct benefit to the target group.

Aunty Jean said it was an easy application process and encouraged people to visit the MACHEnergy website for further details at