Community and Employment

The Ninti group of companies has been committed to building opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people living in remote Australia, through research, innovation and engagement since 2003.

We have built understanding about Aboriginal employment through our management of over 100 projects, valued at over $250 million.

Stronger Communities for Children (SCfC)

SCfC is a place-based community development program that aims to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people the best possible start in life. It does this through safer families and communities, nurturing educational environments, positive participation opportunities and cultural events that help young people to grow up strong, healthy and confident. The project approach has been to ensure that local communities have a real say in local decision-making, including what services they need and how they are delivered. The 2017 evaluation of SCfC showed that 309 people were employed on the project.

SCfC began in June 2013 with five communities, and in June 2015 five new communities were added to the program. SCfC is one of a range of measures funded by the Australian Government that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.


Justice Reinvestment

Ninti’s Chair for the last 14 years, Professor Tom Calma AO, has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level for 45 years. In 2009 in his role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner (and while a Director of Ninti), he argued for adoption of Justice Reinvestment as ‘a pragmatic solution to the problem of Indigenous imprisonment… based on some sound principles that meld with Indigenous perspectives and approaches.’

Ninti has delivered multiple programs on behalf of Commonwealth government agencies in the justice sector.


The Seasonal Worker Programme

Ninti was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Jobs and Small Business to produce a scoping study on the Australian regional impacts of the Seasonal Worker Programme.

The Seasonal Worker Programme is a key part of Australia’s aid commitment to the Pacific region and Timor-Leste.  The program contributes to the economic development of participating countries through employment experience, skills transfer and earnings to families and communities.  It also helps Australian employers in the agriculture and accommodation sectors by allowing them to employ workers on a temporary basis where there are not enough Australian workers during peak seasons. This project involves desktop research and stakeholder consultation (through regional visits in NSW, Vic and Qld) to evaluate and report on the economic and social impacts of the Seasonal Worker Programme in local communities since its implementation in 2012.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC-REP)

The CRC-REP was a $120 million seven-year research program that addressed social, economic, employment, health and education disadvantage in remote Australia, particularly the impact of economic exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It ran from 2010 to 2017. The focus of CRC‑REP research was delivering solutions to the economic challenges that affect remote Australia and developing new ways to build resilience and strengthen regional and remote communities and economies. The CRC-REP research had a strong emphasis on enterprise development, improving education, training and employment pathways in remote areas and increasing the economic participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC)

The DKCRC was a $70 million seven-year research program that addressed sustainable livelihoods for all people living in the desert region of Australia. It ran from 2003 to 2010. The research was based on strengthening resilience and employment opportunities for remote desert communities, centred on environmentally and socially appropriate natural resource and service enterprises. Unique desert knowledge was researched that enables thriving and self-sufficient regional desert economies and increased social capital of desert people, their communities and service agencies.

Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Grant Reviews – National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)

NIAA contracts Ninti to undertake reviews of IAS projects in a number of regions across Australia. Each strength-based review involves reviewing up to 15 grant-funded activities in an identified target sub-region, with the aim of informing NIAA about improvements in grant management practices and to better understand place-based outcomes and impacts achieved through the IAS. Since 2018, Ninti has reviewed nearly 100 discreet IAS activities across regions in WA, SA, ACT and the NT. This included reviewing the remote employment and community development service Community Development Program (CDP) in some locations.