CONTENT SUPPLIED: The Barkly region in the Northern Territory is known as having a ‘heart of gold’.

This description applies as much to the people as it does to the rich natural resources of the land. The Barkly region has a proud heritage, but more importantly, it has a prosperous future that encompasses Aboriginal culture, caring for country and land rights, through to the burgeoning economic opportunities in Northern Australia.

In recognition of these opportunities, the $78.4 million Barkly Regional Deal – Australia’s first ever Regional Deal – was signed by all three levels of government in April 2019. The deal was the culmination of a six month consultation process about priorities with the local community, and Aboriginal people as key stakeholders in recognition of their ongoing to connection to country.

The Barkly Regional Deal will see the community directly benefit from the delivery of 28 diverse initiatives targeted to support economic, social and cultural development.

The 28 initiatives will reduce housing overcrowding, boost key industries such as tourism, agribusiness and mining, strengthen community safety, expand and upgrade community infrastructure in Tennant Creek and other remote communities, improve school attendance rates and reactivate local sporting leagues. The Barkly Regional Deal will also maximise the value of new and existing public investment through improved collaboration, alignment and coordination between the three levels of government.

An interim Barkly Governance Group – including membership from all three levels of government, business leaders, Aboriginal organisations, non-government organisations, young people and community members – is now working together to drive the Deal’s implementation.

A Barkly Backbone Team has recently been established to support the interim Barkly Governance Group as they move into the 10-year implementation phase of the Barkly Regional Deal. The Backbone team works with the interim Barkly Governance Group members to support community identified priorities and a meaningful local decision-making process. The Backbone team is underpinned by a commitment to drive collective impact by forming and maintaining partnerships across sectors for the benefit of the region.

The Barkly Regional Deal committed and fully-funded by the three levels of government, recognises the future vision of the Barkly community to build a stronger, prosperous and inclusive region for current and future generations. Further information on the Barkly Regional Deal is available at

An opportunity is also now available for an experienced executive to shape and lead the Backbone team. Based full-time in Tennant Creek, the role involves championing the Barkly Regional Deal locally through strategy, community engagement, communications and data functions. NIT has the job listing here.