Country Idealist Profiles

Northern Territory Community Engagement

Community engagement refers to the range of ways in which the Northern Territory Government works with people in the community, encouraging and rewarding active citizenship. Rather than consulting with people on pre-determined policy directions, community engagement encourages a continuous conversation with citizens about shaping Government policy and improving service delivery.

For a brochure about Northern Territory Government Community Engagement, or to learn more about their advisory councils, visit



Principal Foundations in Northern Territory

Foundations that give funds to organizations in the Northern Territory’s third sector include:

Australian Charities
Has a selection of links for fundraisers and a database of contact details for major Australian Charities.

Australia’s Open Garden Scheme
Provides grants for garden-related community projects.

Australian Ethical Investment Scheme
Provides grants to community groups annually.

Charities Aid Foundation
Allows charitable organisations to be placed on a registry to be matched with corporate donors and sponsors.

Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund Local Grants Program,1696,TS16848,00.html
Aims specifically to assist community groups with projects that improve the health and well being of children and young people nationally.

Comic Relief Australia
Grants are managed through Volunteering Australia and are available for a wide range of not for profit organisations.

Fosters Community Grants
Fosters community grants for specific projects run by community groups and charities.

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
Aims to take a leadership role in assisting regional, rural and remote communities to respond to social, cultural and economic change. The FRRR administers a number of funding programs and grants.

The Foundation for Young Australians
A not-for-profit organisation committed to investing in excess of $3 million each year on providing opportunities for young people with specific funding for projects involving Indigenous youth.

Friends of the Australian Communication Exchange Support Program (FACES)
Provides funding for projects by nonprofit organisations which benefit the deaf, hearing or speech impaired in the community.

Landcare Community Grants
Grants funded in partnership with Australia Post and provide grants for projects aimed at improving the environment.

Macquarie Group Foundation
Supports groups and activities in Australia and overseas.

The Mercy Foundation
Provides support for organisations involved in reducing inequality and poverty in Australia.

The Myer Foundation and The Sidney Myer Fund
Grantmaking to build a fair, just, creative, sustainable and caring society through initiatives that promote positive change in Australia, and in relation to Australia’s regional setting.

National Foundation for Australian Women
Runs a program through which other women’s groups can receive tax deductible donations and grants through their preferred donor fund.

NRMA Insurance communityhelp grants
Grants for crime and injury prevention, emergency services and the environment. In South Australia the program operates under SGIO and in Western Australia under SGIC.

Optus Connecting Communities Grants Program
Provides grants to organisations to help reduce social isolation and to reconnect disengaged youth.

Perpetual Trustees Australia
Manages charitable funds

Peter Brock Foundation 
Provides funding and support for community groups and organisations with a focus on welfare services, social issues and community programs.

The Ian Potter Foundation
Makes grants for general charitable purposes in Australia that advance knowledge and benefit the community in the areas of the arts, community wellbeing, education, environment and conservation, health,
medical research and science.

The Reichstein Foundation 
Funds projects aimed at assisting disadvantaged communities.

The Telstra Foundation
Provides community development grants for projects particularly aimed at children and young people. They also provide assistance through their Indigenous Community Development program and Social Innovation Grants.

Makes contributions to community-benefiting activities through its corporate office and through subsidiary businesses. Applications for small donations such as gift vouchers should be made to individual business outlets.

Westpac Matching Gifts Program
Matches donations by employees to charities dollar for dollar.

World Wildlife Fund Australia
Provides funding through its Threatened Species Network Community Grants program to groups working to protect wildlife or habitats.  


Fundraising Related Organizations

Organizations/websites to note, connected to fundraising for the third sector in the Northern Territory, and throughout Australia.

Philantrophy Australia
Philanthropy Australia is the national peak body for philanthropy and is a not-for-profit membership organisation.

Australian Government Community Grants Site

Northern Territory Government*&myLevel=3&myRefPoint=cn=Community%20Links,cn=Grants%20and%20Funding&layout=show
List of community grants/funding opportunities compiled by the Northern Territory Government

Charities Aid Foundation
Charities Aid Foundation brings donors and the community together for mutual benefit, providing cost effective programs for business, governments, individuals, families and not-for-profit organisations.

Fundraising Institute Australia
National peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia.

GiveWell plays a key role in fostering a better culture of giving in Australia. They do this by conducting research on charities and generating ideas on better ways to give.

Our Community
Our Community is a world-leading social enterprise that provides 15 Knowledge Centres – spanning all aspects of running a community group and comprising a range of resources, training, advice and tools.

Australian Charities
Gateway for information on major Australian charities

Non-Profit Sector Media

Media specific to the third sector in Australia includes:

Australian Journal on Volunteering
The Australian Journal on Volunteering is the only Australian academic journal that publishes articles exclusively on volunteering.  Published twice each year, the AJOV aims to: provide a forum for promoting awareness and discussion of volunteering within the volunteering community; stimulate debate and research on volunteering; provide useful information to the volunteering community; and promote awareness of the volunteering sector and its attendant issues in the broader community, including government and business.

Third Sector Review (Australia and New Zealand)
Journal, must be ordered

Sydney Alternative Media
Non-profit community news, national blog

Sydney Indymedia
Open Publishing website that is run by and for the grassroots community.

Timeline of Australian Philanthropy


Individual Donations to Third Sector

The percentage of people living in the Northern Territory that donated to a non-profit effort declined slightly from 2000 to 2006.


Throughout Australia, individuals donate to the following causes:


Northern Territory Fundraising Law

The relevant authority for fundraising governance in the Northern Territory is NT Treasury, Racing, Gaming & Licensing Division.  In particular, they oversee all fundraising activities such as bingo, raffles and door knock appeals.
The relevant legislation is part IV of the Gaming Control Act (and attendant Regulations) which regulates lotteries, trade lotteries and games of chance in the nature of a lottery, being raffles, sweepstakes, calcuttas, bingo, mini-lotto and tipping competitions.
A permit is required for the conduct of lotteries and trade lotteries offering a total prize pool of more than $5,000. A permit is not required for trade lotteries that have been granted a permit interstate.
Other issues to consider:
Only approved associations or a person who has obtained the express permission of the Minister may conduct a lottery or game in the nature of a lottery in the Northern Territory. Any person carrying on a trade or business in the Territory may conduct a trade lottery.
There is also a listing of nation-wide philantropy-related law at

Volunteer Involvement

The “where” and “what” of Australian volunteer involvement:

Volunteers and Northern Territory Law

The Northern Territory’s Work Health Act 1986 (NT) provides a very broad definition of a worker, that would include volunteers. A worker is defined:

  • as anyone who performs work or services of any kind for another person;
  • under an agreement of any form.

Under this definition, a volunteer would be considered as a worker and be covered by the legislation.  If the volunteer does not fall into the above category of a worker, the Act still protects anyone else who is not an employee, but who is affected by the employer’s undertaking. This would include volunteers.

Volunteer-involving organisations have a duty of care to ensure that, as far as practicable, a volunteer’s health and safety is not adversely affected by the work they are engaged in. This includes maintaining a safe workplace and plant, making arrangements for the safe handling and transport of plant and substances, providing training and instruction to enable volunteers to carry out their work in a safe manner an ensure that visitors to a workplace are aware of and abide by safety requirements.

Common Law
Volunteer-involving organisations—regardless of whether it has employees or not—also have a common law duty of care to exercise reasonable care to avoid injury to all entrants on the premises. The risk must be ‘reasonably foreseeable’—that is, not farfetched or fanciful.

Volunteers with special needs may require a higher standard of care and therefore volunteer involving organisations may need to take more time preparing them for their duties. Volunteer-involving organisations whose operations may expose volunteers to scenes or events that may cause nervous shock also need to factor in psychological injury as a foreseeable risk.

In some instances, the scope of a volunteer-involving organisation’s duty of care may be expanded. For example, if a volunteer-involving organisation runs a working bee in which volunteers are asked to help with some demolition work outside of the normal voluntary activity of volunteers – the volunteer-involving organisation will have expanded the scope of duty of care that it owes to volunteers.

The Work Health Act 1986 (NT) sets a maximum penalty on both corporations and individuals for breaches of the duty to provide a safe workplace.

Under common law, civil damage claims can also be made by, or on behalf of, a volunteer who is injured or killed as a result of breaching its common law duty of care. Duty of care is breached in circumstances where the risk was foreseeable and significant, and where a reasonable person would have taken precaution. In determining whether a reasonable person would have taken the precautions against risk or harm, the court takes into account the following:

  • the probability that the harm would occur if care were not taken;
  • the likely seriousness of the harm;
  • the burden of taking precautions to avoid the risk of harm; and
  • the social utility of the activity that creates the risk of harm.

The Northern Territory specifically excludes volunteers from laws relating to workers’ compensation and rehabilitation. The exception to this is some volunteer fire-fighters, volunteer emergency services personnel and prescribed volunteers.

Volunteers’ Personal Civil Liability
Under the Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act 2003 (NT) volunteers do not incur personal civil liability for a personal injury caused by an act done in good faith and without recklessness while doing community work for a community organisation.


Volunteerism Definitions in the Northern Territory

The definition of volunteering, according to Volunteering Territory:
Volunteering is an activity whereby individuals choose to willingly work without an expectation of remuneration to provide a service with a community focus. Volunteer work extends beyond one’s basic obligations and can represent an important expression of social responsibility.

  • Volunteering is of benefit to the community and the volunteer.
  • Volunteering is not undertaken in order to receive pensions or benefits.
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way for citizens to participate in the activities of their community.
  • Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs.
  • Volunteering is an activity which takes place in not for profit organisations and projects. Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work.
  •  Volunteering does not threaten the livelihood of paid workers.
  • Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others.
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality.