Dave & Bobbie speak at the 2024 AHNT Conference

Aboriginal Housing and Homelands Conference in Mparntwe April 2024

HH, represented by Dave and Bobbie, joined Aboriginal housing leaders, workers, residents, and organisations to address key issues in NT housing, homelands, and homelessness.


The AHNT conference theme was, building a strong, self-determined Aboriginal housing and homelands sector in the Northern Territory’ with a vision of  ‘Aboriginal housing in Aboriginal hands’.


The Healthabitat presentation

Their presentation focused on 3 of the 9 key Healthy Living Practices (HLP’s) which became critical target areas across the 10 recent projects in the NT; HLP3 Removing Waste Water Safely, HLP 6: Reducing the negative effects of animals, insects and vermin, and, HLP8 Controlling the temperature of the living environment.

They shared insights from these project findings, and lessons learned from data analysis at the completion of the projects. They used the data to advocate for key areas to be increasingly focused on in existing preventative repairs and maintenance programs across all NT housing initiatives.

A key discussion with HLP3: Removing waste water safely, was advocacy for regular septic tank pump outs every 2 years and an annual lid-safety check. Using a cost-benefit analysis, they discussed the opportunity of remote disposal practices, like those carried out in SA, where instead of emptying a septic tank and driving 4 hours back to Alice Springs to dump the waste (and continue this until all septic tanks in the community are emptied), waste can be disposed at a local disposal site, to EPA regulations. This works out 50% cheaper and quicker, which would encourage it to be done more regularly.

Their advocacy to the NT housing authority looks promising, with growing potential to change the disposal method on future projects. The prospect of having hard data and expenditure figures to argue the benefits of this changed method is very exciting for us!


Some slides from their presentation included:

Slide from HLP3: Advocating for remote disposal practices

Slide from HLP6: Key issues in housing resulting from animals, insects and vermin

Slide from HLP8: Thermal Imaging shows new houses are being clad in colours which reach 64 degrees!

Not just talking but capturing great ideas!

A valuable practice AHNT undertakes with these conferences is to produce a report following the event to capture all the ideas and recommendations discussed across the presentations. This is a rare practice with conferences, where often a lot of talking occurs with only personal takeaways.

We are looking forward to the 2024 report, the 2023 report can be read here.


Thanks to AHNT for convening a great conference and to all the speakers for sharing their work, ideas and practices, all in pursuit of an important vision – ‘Aboriginal housing in Aboriginal hands’.