The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2016. The Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes.

Initially formed as part of an economic development plan for the Yolŋu people in the Northern Territory, The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) was initially a group of seven community stores who set about investing in the local community.

Today ALPA has grown to own and operate 14 companies and employ over 800 aboriginal people. By emphasising local employment, training, career pathways, customer service and safety, APLA has strived to promote the health of aboriginal communities through economic development.

By independently creating Indigenous owned businesses in remote locations, APLA have aimed to increase access to services and employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. These businesses are intended as catalysts to deliver improvements in health, training and education, as well as funding programs for cultural support, business mentoring and medical assistance.

The ALPA board of directors oversee and analyse the financials of all business units, determining objectives and areas of focus which align with the company’s mission statement. ALPA then works alongside the local community, establishing supply chains and developing mentoring programs. This local emphasis provides a foundation for close collaboration with the community and is designed to foster inclusive economic development.

Being Indigenous owned and governed helps to ensure that the initiatives and businesses that are operated and investigated have community backing from a “grass roots” level ensuring community acceptance. Training programs are developed to meet the needs of learners in this respect, providing them with relevant foundational training that blends well with vocational training.

Over the last 5 years ALPA have more than doubled the number of Indigenous people they employ and have increased revenue across the business group by 60%. This has coincided with a two-fold increase in activities investment, which includes sponsoring ceremonies, local sporting teams and festivals.