​Far West Coast Investments Paying Dividends

After years of planning and transition, the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation has taken control over investment monies held for their community and their investment arm has been recognised as a national award winner.

In November 2018, Equity Trustees announced that it had resigned from the role of Trustee for the Far West Coast community’s native title funds and handed full control over to Far West Coast (FWC) Investments, an arm of the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation.

Former Trustee manager Ian Westley explained to the Paper Tracker radio program that the Far West Coast investment story began back in 2010, when the trust was created, and Equity Trustee were appointed to manage it by the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation.

“At that time the decision was made to appoint a professional trustee company like Equity in recognition that the community needed assistance in running a trustee of the trust that was being created” he said.

“Since 2010 we’ve worked closely with the community in managing the trust for the benefit of the community.

“We’ve been working together with them now over four years and they’ve been able to demonstrate their capability in managing initiatives that deliver economic development and other trustee services on behalf of the Far West Coast peoples.”

Mr Westley said that the recent appointment of FWC investments to the be trustee of the original community trust now gives the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation total control over all of the monies they’ve been awarded through the native title claim.

“It allows them to better protect the money into the future for not only today’s community but tomorrow’s as well” he said.

Another important day for the Far West Coast community and the investment arm of their corporation took place in November 2018 when they were presented with the 2018 Indigenous Business of the Year award at the inaugural AEMEE (Aboriginal Enterprises in Mining, Energy and Exploration) Resource Sector Awards held in Western Australia.

The awards highlight the success of Indigenous businesses which service and support the resource sector.

Far West Coast Investments (FWCI) directors April Lawrie, Sandra Miller and Emily Ware attended the conference and awards ceremony.

Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Ljuba Mojovic told the West Coast Sentinel that
FWC Investments had claimed the coveted award against some very strong competition.

“Our companies were competing against Aboriginal businesses from around Australia with substantial mining operations,” he said.

“This award demonstrates that we are the national leaders in terms of both economic and social impact in the mining and resources sector.

“It is a great privilege for our entire management team to deliver these results to the 1700 plus traditional owner members that we serve” he said.

FWC Investments General Manager, John Isgar also told the West Coast Sentinel that he was happy with the group’s success.

“Initially the application was daunting, but I was able to highlight the involvement of the FWC Investments in many businesses and employment outcomes for the Far West Coast group of entities and clearly demonstrate high levels of community impact, self-determination and wealth creation outcomes for the Far West Coast native title holders” he said.

According to the local newspaper, the award win was noted by Senator Nigel Scullion, who congratulated FWC Investments in a letter for their “commitment to Indigenous economic development and to the future of the six Indigenous groups on the Far West Coast”.

In further positive news for the community, the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation and Iluka Resources were announced as the Winner of the Premiers Award for Diversity at a gala dinner and presentation night held in Adelaide on
30 November 2018.

The award stated that Iluka Resources has demonstrated a strong and enduring commitment to develop a diverse and engaged workforce in its Jacinth-Ambrosia project, which is delivered in partnership with the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation through the FWC Iluka Liaison Committee.

The award was an acknowledgement that “successful commitment to and implementation of the Native Title Mining Agreement (NTMA) and a strong relationship with the FWC has resulted the achievement and maintenance of a 20% aspirational employment target of Indigenous people throughout mining operations.”

It was announced that “the winning program is exemplary for its diversity and social inclusion outcomes. It is also a model of how the resources sector can partner with local communities to deliver positive socio-economic outcomes in market downturns, as well as in the boom times.”

SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.