In this paper, I address some of the challenges in deploying Aboriginal assets for long term wealth creation. We know that many Indigenous groups are looking for long-term investment solutions to:
- build wealth for the next generation;
- reduce dependency on government funding;
- diversify away from traditional bank deposits and earn higher returns on other investments; and
- plan beyond the finite sources of funding such as mining royalties.
The productivity of Aboriginal assets, especially communal assets, falls well short of what is achievable. Scope exists for them to play a far greater part in overcoming Indigenous poverty in a sustainable way. But this requires significant change in a number of key fields, including the legal vehicles for managing Indigenous assets and a lack of transparency about their management. There is also important discussion growing within Indigenous circles about the disbursement of native title payments for land access and the investment strategies being applied. How to get the best balance between providing short-term assistance and supporting longer-term and sustainable development opportunities for the further are the key questions being addressed.