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How one person can make a difference: the case of Sydney's Nathan Moran

Guest Author -

Nathan Moran, the current CEO of Sydney-based Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council has quite an ambitious vision for the organisation despite the challenges stemming from the Registrar of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 NSW.

Despite these challenges, Moran has a vision to turn the MLALC into an economic powerhouse to help the local First Nations community and fight for their rights to self-determination.

As many successful CEOs do, Nathan stands up for his beliefs and works hard to achieve the best results for his community.

For example, some locals living on Sydney's northern beaches are complaining about a proposal from the MLALC that would create an economic channel for prosperity for the local First Nations population.

Despite the criticism from some elitists, who don't want to see First People prosper, and the rejection of the proposal from the local council, this project has fortunately been given the green light after applying logical thinking by the NSW Government, which is good but surprising especially since the Premier Dominic Perrottet continues to avoid cracking down on Aboriginality fraud and the Registrar of the ALRA but beggars can't be choosers, so we'll take this small win.

The proposal will preserve more than 1,000 hectares of land across Sydney and build 450 homes on 71 hectares of their own land (never was the Crown's land) which is expected to generate an income to address community needs.

And when I say revenue, I'm talking about a lot of money.

Based on the median gross rent of $1,200 for houses and $595 for units in Belrose, the 450 houses in this new housing development could bring in more than $20 million in revenue annually before taxes and expenses for MLALC, which will provide the money for their community programs.

MLALC is taking control of its own future by not relying on large corporations or governments for funding or support.

This is a form of self-determination because we all know that relying on these two to help close the disparity gaps leads to disappointment.

This is also a big win for all 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils throughout NSW, which usually have a lot of assets from the land they have fought for years to get back from the Crown but have not been able to convert into an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of revenue.

Though community support is essential for Nathan to achieve his ambitious vision, we should recognise individual achievements and work people are doing for the community where appropriate.

Here's hoping that he will continue to buck the system and overcome the many obstacles of running a Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Dean Foley is a Kamilaroi entrepreneur and Founder at Barayamal (Black Swan)

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