Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation
Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC) was founded by the Mirarr in 1995, to act as the vehicle for the collection, disbursement and investment of funds derived from the Ranger Uranium Mine on behalf of its primary stakeholders, the Mirarr clan.
GAC is an organisation established, managed and controlled by the Mirarr. It plays a pivotal role in the management of relations between Mirarr and other Bininj, and between Mirarr and non-Indigenous people (Balanda).
It provides both for members and other Bininj affected by the Ranger Mine, consistent with the Mirarr cultural obligations. It does this by undertaking activities in accordance with the direction given by the Mirarr through an elected governing committee.
It is committed to putting into place structures – physical, intellectual and financial – that will safeguard and stabilise the cultural and economic future of the Mirarr.
These structures fall under five broad categories:
• Ensure long-term beneficial health and housing outcomes
• Protect the culture (physical and spiritual) of the Mirarr clan and neighbouring clans
• Protect traditional Mirarr country
• Ensure Bininj control of Bininj lives and country, with robust and transparent good governance
• Develop sustainable incomes and businesses for future generations
GAC’s vision for the welfare of the Mirarr extends well beyond the current projected end of the Ranger uranium mine in 2026.
GAC operates in accordance with its governing legislation, the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. This act replaced the former governing legislation, the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976. It is governed by a Board of Directors, comprising senior members of the Mirarr.
In 2010 the Corporation had six fulltime staff. In 2013 it has grown to over 70 staff.
GAC is responsible for a range of facilities including the head office, Djidbidjidbi Residential College, the Community Centre, Marrawuddi Gallery, Bowali Cafe, the post office and the newsagency.
It administers many cultural and community programs and engages with strategy, policy and management across a diversity of issues including land and cultural rights, environment and conservation, mining, education, child protection, retail and tourism.
The Corporation is funded almost exclusively by the mining royalties. With the establishment of GAC, the Mirarr determined to use this money for the benefit of the wider community.