The Program strengthens the economic capacity and sustainability of Aboriginal organisations to move towards self-determination. Aboriginal organisations that own a property where the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs holds a first mortgage can apply to have the first mortgage removed.
The Program previously funded eligible organisations to undertake urgent repairs and maintenance and to complete feasibility studies, prior to applying for removal of first mortgages held in favour of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Minister).
11 August 2021
3 March 2024
The Program aims to provide Aboriginal organisations that own property where the Minister holds a first mortgage the opportunity to have full control of their assets and have the autonomy to grow and plan for the future.
It will enable more Aboriginal organisations to meet social determinants such as education, health and housing and improve the ability of Aboriginal organisations to respond to the ongoing and changing demands in social, economic, and cultural environments.
The Victorian Aboriginal Economic Strategy commits the Victorian Government to remove first mortgages, subject to completion of due diligence.
Successful first mortgage removals will promote more Aboriginal organisations to:
- be the decision maker on issues affecting their organisation and community
- have greater control and choices regarding the use of their assets
- leverage economic development opportunities from their assets
- contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of Aboriginal communities.
This is consistent with the Government’s commitment to self-determination.
Eligible organisations are those Victorian Aboriginal organisations that currently own a property/properties that the Minister holds a first mortgage over.
Applicants must also:
- be an incorporated body, cooperative or association (including business associations)
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or provide written advice from the Australian Tax Office that no withholding tax is required from the grant payment
- be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- be financially solvent (organisations in liquidation and/or administration are not eligible to apply for this program).
Eligible Aboriginal organisations can apply for the removal of the first mortgage held by the Minister over a property/properties if strong governance, sustainability and feasibility can be demonstrated.
To apply for this Program, applicants must provide evidence of compliance with all items on the Removal of First Mortgage Readiness Checklist below.
Removal of First Mortgage Readiness Checklist
Before submitting an online application, you'll need to prepare the following documents to include in your application:
- Written response that describes how the removal of the first mortgage will increase the organisations’ capability and create social, cultural and economic opportunities for the Aboriginal community.
- Photos of the property/properties.
- A copy of the feasibility study or alternative evidence of organisational sustainability and a feasible business model for the property or properties in line with the principle of self-determination.
- Audited financial reports from the past 5 years.
- Annual General Meeting reports from the past 5 years.
- Current membership numbers.
- A copy of the Rules/Constitution.
- A copy of an active Conflict of Interest Register with all personal information redacted.
- Declaration of compliance with regulatory body (e.g. Consumer Affairs Victoria, Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Australian Securities and Investment Commission).
- A copy of the organisation’s current business plans or strategies.
- Organisational structure.
- Details of board members and key decision makers in the organisation.
- Please ensure the relevant individuals' consent to the use and disclosure of this information for the purpose of making a Removal of First Mortgage application to Aboriginal Victoria.
- Any additional documents.
Information provided in Removal of First Mortgage applications will be used to assist DPC to assess eligibility and suitability for the program and to prepare the first mortgage removal documentation. Any personal information that is provided will be handled in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.
DPC, its officers, employees, agents and sub-contractors may use and disclose any of the information provided with the application to Victorian Government departments or agencies, Victorian Government bodies, non-government organisations and/or the Commonwealth, states or territories for any purpose in connection with the administration of the Program. Successful applications may also be the subject of media releases and disclosure as otherwise provided in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the Funding Agreement.
Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.
Reviewed 09 November 2023