Remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Urapunga plant the seed of success with the opening of their community-owned op-shop – Nulpurr Remote OpShop, Urapunga NT.
The Urapunga Community in remote Northern Territory has opened the doors to their community-owned op-shop - ‘Nulpurr Remote OpShop’. Facilitated by Remote OpShop Project, a not-for-profit organisation fostering the development of Indigenous enterprise in remote Australia.
“The community has had its problems in the past but we as a community have always had faith and kept fighting for the things we wanted, and as the result to all that, we have our community store up and going again.”
“When we heard about the op-shop the community was very excited to have another small business running and the benefit of the two shops will have a very big impact on the community now and will continue into the future as well.” Annie Daniels, Daughter of the late David Daniels who was the Traditional Owner and Urapunga Aboriginal Corporation Director.
Urapunga is an Aboriginal community located 600 kilometres south-west of Darwin near the southern edge of Arnhem Land. Home to 108 people, Urapunga is nestled between the two big river crossings – the Wilton and the Roper.
Remote OpShop founder Tanya Egerton met sisters Margaret, Kathleen and Rhonda Duncan, Urapunga Elders and their family, in February 2016. At that time Tanya worked with Margaret to facilitate a range of enterprise projects in Katherine and surrounding communities as a coordinator for Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP).
This included a large scale online campaign for the donation of pre-loved clothes resulting in 500+ boxes of donations from across the country delivered to the remote community of Jilkminggan. The surplus clothing from the original clothing-drive has been used to launch the Urapunga Opshop.
“Establishing an op-shop as an ‘opportunity hub‘ for community-driven Indigenous social enterprise provides broad benefits.”
“There’s lots of fantastic ideas, natural resources, and cultural knowledge that make these businesses truly unique. But sometimes people need a little bit of help to get kickstarted. The op-shop provides a safe supportive space for people to get the kind of capacity building in entrepreneurship they need to further develop their own ideas.”
“It also provides independent seed funding for new ideas to start and grow. While answering the local need for accessible and affordable clothing.” Tanya Egerton, founder Remote Opshop Project.
Rhonda Duncan, Urapunga Elder is leading the development of the op-shop, “We’ve got a lot of big plans ahead of us, like the op-shop, tourism, accommodation and art. We’re currently working on getting more funding and developing business skills within the community.”
“We want to make things out of materials that are already here, like tables out of Mahogany, weaving baskets out of pandanus, selling clothing and making bags and skirts, quilts out of the op-shop clothing and fabric.”
“I feel happy and proud of the community for making this happen” commented Rhonda.
Remote OpShop Project will work with the community to fulfil their long-term aspiration of establishing local enterprises, the next step is to construct a permanent space that will be used as workshop and retail outlet.
Donate to support the development of the Nulpurr Remote Opshop, Urapunga.
Empowered Communities: Urapunga OpShop
RemoteOpShop Project is currently raising funds to establish a community-owned OpShop in Urapunga - remote Northern Territory.
Urapunga is a remote Aboriginal community located 600 kilometres south-west of Darwin near the southern edge of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Home to 80 people, Urapunga is nestled between the two big river crossings – the Wilton and the Roper.
Remote OpShop founder Tanya Egerton meet Margaret Duncan, Urapunga Elder and her family, in February 2016. Tanya worked with Margaret to facilitate a range of enterprise projects in Katherine and surrounding remote communities as an Enterprise Co-ordinator at Enterprise Learning Projects.
This included a large scale online campaign for the donation of pre-loved clothes resulting in 500+ boxes of donations delivered to the remote Aboriginal community of Jilkminggan, NT. Margaret was the face of the campaign and played a key role in establishing the Jilkminggan OpShop.
Margaret is an entrepreneur and artist, her first painting was selected for a national showcase and she has since built a reputation as a master craftswoman who creates beautiful art from natural bush materials. Her dream is to encourage younger Aboriginal people to run their own businesses.
Margaret contacted Tanya in March 2018, with a request to establish a community-owned OpShop in Urapunga, to provide affordable clothing to families and to support the learning of business skills.
Remote OpShop Project will work with Margaret and other key women, in the development of the opshop. These women act as a changemaker in their families and community and inspire and support others to take up entrepreneurship.
A small donation is all we need to make this dream a reality.
Donate now: https://www.gofundme.com/remote-opshop-project
Join our community group: https://www.facebook.com/group/remoteopshopproject
Of Australia’s population of over 22 million, about 15 percent live in rural and remote areas. While relatively low compared to most countries, the vastness of the Australian continent – almost 8 million square kilometres – and the isolation of these areas present unique challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote Australia.
Although there exists a wealth of knowledge, talent and entrepreneurial aspiration within communities, potential entrepreneurs lack support and access to financial capital and support necessary to transform their dreams into reality.
Additionally, resources are lower for people living in remote and rural areas and tend to decrease with remoteness. The availability of commodities such as food, petrol and clothing is often significantly lower and more expensive. For many of the people, being able to access affordable clothing for themselves and their family means a three-hour drive or an eight-hour drive to the nearest town or city.
Remote OpShops are a potential vehicle for self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and ultimately, social and economic self-determination. Case studies have demonstrated the positive social impact these small enterprises have on communities. Simultaneously providing a source of independent funding, access to necessary personal and household items, whilst building the skills and capacity required to run a small business.
The OpShop operates in a co-operative manner and funds are pooled to support projects that enhance the health and well-being of the community.
Remote OpShop Project is auspice under Heart Futures a registered Indigenous charity with DGR status.
With a proven model and your support, we can then apply for government and philanthropic funding so we can continue to expand and support more communities to open independent OpShops throughout remote Australia.
- Mal Ferguson
- Nanna Sally Nelson
- Matoyla Kollaras
- Sharman Naylor
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