The concept for the establishment of Centrecorp arose in the early 1980s.

At the time, the Central Land Council was considering how to establish an investment corporation that would allow aboriginal people to participate commercially in the inevitable resource and tourism development projects that were just beginning to establish themselves in the Northern Territory, rather than simply observing this development take place around them.

Correspondence from the Central Land Council at the time indicates that the Council felt that:
“…an important alternative for protecting and furthering (the Aboriginal people’s) interests would be to develop some form of company which would build up over time a bank of assets. Perhaps, after some years the company would be in a position to generate income which then could be used for social, community or commercial purposes.”

The same letter provided some further information about the proposed company:
“…the intention is to create a conservatively managed corporation….The concern is that many investment structures on behalf of Aboriginal people have been somewhat speculative and many of them have failed. It is not anticipated that there will be short term earnings from the Corporation but rather that over a period of years it will negotiate its way into various possibilities.”

To comply with its enabling legislation, which precludes Central Land Council itself from undertaking commercial activities, whilst at the same time creating an entity with a robust ethic and sound corporate governance, Central Land Council joined with Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and Tangentyere Council as joint trustees of a charitable trust.

The Centrecorp Foundation was established on the 1st of July 2009 to continue the benevolent program and is primarily funded by the Centrecorp Trusts.

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