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Timeline: 1978 to Present

1978

 

Tiwi Land Council established under the Commonwealth Land Rights Act.

1978

 

Composition of the Tiwi Land Trust and the Tiwi Land Council finalised, with membership initially based on twelve clan or “country” groups comprising Traditional Landowners.

1980

 

Organised tourism to the Tiwi Islands commences; the Tiwi Land Council moves into active support of local commercial operations.

1981

 

Existing twelve clan/country groups were consolidated to seven as the Traditional Landowners agreed to collective representation.

1986

 

The NT Government, having undertaken to lease and develop 12,000 hectares on Melville Island for forestry, wind-up all operations, leaving 5,000 hectares of immature pine plantation to be managed by the Tiwi people without any further Government support.

1986

 

Pirntubula Pty Ltd formed as the vehicle for Tiwi commercial ventures – Jimmy Tipungwuti says ‘The welfare system is destroying our pride and our culture. We must be successful in business.’

1987

 

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs approved a total of six persons from each clan/country group (including the land trustee) to form the Tiwi Land Council’s membership structure.

1987

 

Stanley Tipiloura (2/9/57 – 20/9/92) elected as the Labor member for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly's Electoral Division of Arafura.

1988

 

Menzies School of Health Research commences research into seeking solutions to Tiwi health problems including diabetes and renal disorders. 

1989

 

Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association established at Milikapiti on Melville Island. 

1989

 

The Tiwi Land Council grants funds to each community to assist Tiwi cultural education in schools.

1990

 

Munupi Arts and Crafts Association established at Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. 

1992

 

Maurice Rioli (1/9/57 – 25/12/10) elected as the Labor member for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly's Electoral Division of Arafura.

1992

 

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs approved the Tiwi Land Council’s application for adding an eighth group to the Tiwi Land Council membership. 

1993

 

Lord Bathurst, a direct descendant of the Earl of Bathurst after whom Phillip Parker King named Bathurst Island, visits Nguiu (Wurrumiyanga). 

1995

 

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs approved the appointment of the Tiwi Management Committee under the Commonwealth Land Rights Act. 

1995

 

The Tiwi celebrate the 290th anniversary of Dutchman Maarten van Delft’s visit to the islands at Purrampunarli (Karlslake Peninsula) on Melville Island. 

1995 onwards

 

Arrangements made with commercial organisations in relation to forestry and fish farming. 

1996

 

Tiwi Health Board established. 

1998

 

Tiwi Islands Adventures, owned by the eight Tiwi Landowning Groups, is established. 

1999

 

Tiwi Islands Training and Employment Board established to coordinate vocational education and training activities on the Tiwi Islands.

2000

 

More than 70 Tiwi employed in forestry activities.

2001

 

Tiwi Islands Local Government created, merging community government bodies on the islands.

2001

 

Tiwi Barge Services begins construction of a new $2 million barge to serve the islands.

2001

 

Marion Scrymgour elected as the Labor member for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly's Electoral Division of Arafura.

2002

 

Barramundi exports from Marine Harvest fish farm begin. 

2003

 

Tiwi Health Board ceases operations due to lack of funding.

2004

 

Port Melville Pty Ltd is established for the benefit of all Tiwi people.

2004

 

Board of Governors appointed for the development of a Tiwi Private School.

2004

 

The Tiwi Land Council Corporate Plan confirms the objective of an independent and resilient Tiwi society, based on utilisation of natural resources and preservation of Tiwi culture.

2005

 

The Tiwi celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Dutch landing on Melville Island with a re-enactment at Purrampunarli (Karlslake Peninsula). The book Tiwi meet the Future was produced to mark the occasion.

2006

 

Tiwi Education Board established.

2007

 

Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd at Nguiu (Wurrumiyanga) established.

2007

 

The Australian Government signs a 99-year Whole of Township Lease over Nguiu (Wurrumiyanga) on Bathurst Island. Parties to the lease are the Tiwi Aboriginal Land Trust, the Tiwi Land Council and the Executive Director, Office of Township Leasing.

2007

 

Tiwi Tours, owned by Pirntubula Pty Ltd, was bought by Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd and sub-leased to AAT Kings.

2008

 

Tiwi Islands Shire Council established. 

2008

 

Tiwi College opens at Pickataramoor on Melville Island, fulfilling a long-term dream for the Tiwi people.

2010

 

Nguiu renamed Wurrumiyanga, meaning ‘the place where the cycads grow’.

2010

 

Tiwi College officially opened by Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.

2011

 

The Australian Government signs a 99-year Township Lease over Milikapiti on Melville Island, and Ranku on Bathurst Island.

2012

 

Wurlirankuwu Pty Ltd at Milikapiti and Portaminni Pty Ltd at Ranku established.

2012

 

Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu elected as the Country Liberal Party member for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly's Electoral Division of Arafura.

2013

 

Munupi Pty Ltd at Pirlangimpi established. 

2014

 

Tiwi Islands Shire Council becomes the Tiwi Islands Regional Council under legislation passed by the Northern Territory Government.

2015

 

Yimpinari Aboriginal Corporation established.

2017

 

Munupi Aboriginal Corporation established

2017

 

The Australian Government signs a 99-year Township Lease over Pirlangimpi on Melville Island. 

2017

 

The Vernon Islands are transferred to the Tiwi Aboriginal Land Trust from the Northern Land Council.