University of the Sunshine Coast pre-service teacher Scott Woodill undertook regional placement at Glenmore State High School. Photo by Marty Burnett for Little Rocket.
Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2021-2022

Ongoing Projects

Organisations and projects which received multi-year funding prior to TFFF’s strategic review in 2021, and will be completed over the next two financial years.

The figures in the infographics below refer only to funding approved in the 2021/22 financial year


total distributed


organisations supported

Milingimbi Art and Culture Spotlight

“Go go walal! Marrtji räli, ga nhäŋu, ga marŋgithi dhiyak djalkiriw.”
“Welcome everyone! Come and look and learn the knowledge of our ancestors.”

Ruth Ŋalmakara, Senior Garrawurra Clan Leader and Milingimbi Art and Culture Chairperson

Milingimbi Art and Culture is an Indigenous-owned, non-profit corporation which supports Yolŋu culture and sustainable livelihoods for artists on the island of Yurrwi (Milingimbi), in North East Arnhem Land. It is a social, cultural and economic hub for the community, providing income for many families living on Milingimbi and its regional homelands, and supporting Yolŋu from over 12 language groups.

Ethnographic objects from Milingimbi were first acquired as early as 1912, with material culture being more systematically collected from the 1920s following the arrival of the first missionaries.  By the 1960s the centre was well established as a fertile source of traditional Yolŋu art for national and international collections.

Milingimbi Art and Culture established the Djalkiri Keeping Place in 2020 so, “those [things] of ours, from here, our djalkiri, those paintings, our foundations – they should come back to us. And stay here with us, at our Djalkiri Keeping Place,” says Ruth Ŋalmakara, Senior Garrawurra Clan Leader and Milingimbi Art and Culture Chairperson.

The Djalkiri Keeping Place’s mission is to embark on a process of digital cultural return, reconnecting Yolŋu artists and elders with a documented past that otherwise lies asleep in faraway places. The Djalkiri Keeping Place assists community to reclaim their capacity to connect with, speak for and respond to elements of historical and cultural heritage: “As our past is birthing our future, so we walk in the footsteps of our ancestors.

To date Milingimbi Art and Culture, under guidance from their artists and knowledgeable elders, have repatriated over 17,000 images of people, ceremony, country, artworks and objects, and many hours of audio-visual material, including historic recordings of ceremonial songs and film. This work has also supported more mutually beneficial relationships between the community and a large number of national and international collecting institutions that has seen the refining of protocols for engagement and the sharing of accurate and appropriate documentation both ways. The weight of these digital repatriations is not only measured in their cultural potency, but their sheer volume.

The process of organising and utilising this archive is dynamic and can be challenging, with requirements specific to the clans and families of Milingimbi, both as First Nations people and specifically Milingimbi Yolŋu. For example, images are not simply catalogued and stored – essential cultural information must be sought from the appropriate people and decisions made as to who has permission to access them in the database later, following protocols for age, gender and levels of initiation. All Djalkiri must be archived according to Yolŋu categories and search terms, using the appropriate languages. Then access to this digital material must be culturally appropriate and in ways that empowers peoples agency and independence. A significant task for a small community organisation, but as the holders of a unique legacy of over 100 years of collection, a task that must be met.

“Many of my father’s and other old people’s paintings have been kept in the museum for a long, long time. We need to find these paintings because many have been mixed up with different names. I worry if we don’t put the right name and clan, the connections between the people and stories won’t make sense in the future… there is a lot of work to do to make sure meaning is not lost.”

Joe Dhamanydji 
Senior Gupapuyŋu clan leader and former Milingimbi Art and Culture Chairperson

Where We Fund - Ongoing Projects

Organisations with Ongoing Projects

Akeyulerre (new approval) Ingkenteme (Bush School) Program

$100,000 ($300,000 over 3 years)

Supporting the expansion of the Ingkenteme Program through increasing staffing resources and program funding to double the number of bush camps each year, on which senior Elders teach Arrernte children and young people about their homelands, songlines and kinship structures.

Artback NT Numburindi: Strengthening Culture and Country

$90,000 ($225,000 over 3 years)

Supporting Artback NT to work in partnership with the remote Indigenous community of Numbulwar to design and deliver Numburindi Festival and cultural camps for their young people, strengthening intergenerational relationships and connection to country.

Australian Schools Plus Fair Education Queensland

$225,000 for 2022

Fair Education Queensland is designed to empower school leadership teams to meaningfully engage with parents and school communities with the aim of improving outcomes for students.

Durrmu Arts Aboriginal Corporation Harvesting Traditional Knowledge

$82,000 ($256,000 over 3 years)

Development of an intergenerational sharing and learning initiative in partnership with the Asyrikarrak Rangers, facilitating quarterly on-Country harvesting excursions and workshops to re-engage children and young people with traditional harvesting practices.

Hear and Say Centre Ensuring Equity of Access and Outcomes for Regional and Remote Families

$100,000 ($300,000 over 3 years)

For the development of an online platform that provides regional and remote families with access to the assessments, therapies, and social supports that underpin Hear and Say’s unique approach, which supports d/Deaf and hearing impaired children to achieve listening, speech, language and educational outcomes.

Milingimbi Art and Culture Djalkiri Collections Project

$215,000 ($522,000 over 3 years)

Support to employ a dedicated Djalkiri Collections Coordinator, senior artworkers, a linguist, and preservation and significance assessment consultants, and to create a new digital database and photographic interface to showcase the collection: Djalkiri Keeping Place.

Of One Mind / WOW Festival Australia WOW on Tour 2021-2022

$50,000 ($100,000 over 2 years)

To deliver a series of regional  festivals and events for women in Cairns, the Channel CountryCharlevilleLongreach, and Logan, centred around community connectedness and identity, and programmed in collaboration with local women and girls from each location.

Pathways to Resilience Trust Community Wellbeing and Empowerment Program

$400,000 ($2,000,000 over 5 years)

Support enables Pathways to Resilience to deliver tailored Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) training programs to educators, families and communities in rural and remote Queensland.

QAG | GOMA APT10 Kids Program

$200,000 for 2022

Funding for APT10 Kids program in Brisbane and regional Queensland, featuring seven projects by artists from across the Asia Pacific region that celebrate inclusion and diversity, and the importance of collaboration and community.

Queensland Theatre Regional Theatre Enrichment Strategy

$220,000 ($1,110,000 over 5 years)

Building the capacity of Queensland Theatre to engage and respond to the creative needs of schools, communities and performance venues throughout regional Queensland with curriculum-aligned resources, workshops, support and professional development for teachers and teaching artists.

Seed Foundation Australia First Peoples Health – Growing Our Own

$150,000 ($750,000 over 5 years)

To improve training and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students interested in careers in health. Seed Foundation provides wraparound support to address gaps in the transition from school to training, university and employment.

Topology Growing Creative Communities

$285,000 ($1,140,000 over 4 years)

Continued delivery and expansion of Topology’s flagship Top Up program throughout Queensland and the establishment of the Creative Communities umbrella which provides regional hubs, creative consulting and workshops in for local artists and practitioners to connect, upskill and lead community-based projects.

University of the Sunshine Coast Rural and Remote Education Program

$130,000 ($370,000 over 3 years)

Provide bursaries to pre-service teachers to encourage them to take placements and ideally employment in rural and remote areas of Queensland.

Youth Insearch Entrenching Change

$300,000 ($720,000 over 3 years)

Expand the early intervention program across seven new communities in regional and remote Queensland, empowering at-risk young people to take control of their lives by giving them the opportunity and skills to develop their self-esteem and play a positive role in their communities.

The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is based in Meanjin (Brisbane).