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Working on the Tiwi Islands

‘Everyone who is not Tiwi on the islands is there because they are invited. We say who can come here, who can stay here, and who must go.’

Stanley Puautjimi

The Tiwi Islands are privately owned, they are not Crown land, nor public land.  Permission to work on the Islands must be obtained in accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. The permit system is simply a system of regulated access to Aboriginal land. The system complements Aboriginal responsibility for country and is consistent with the land title held under Australian law. The permit system protects the privacy of Tiwi landowners, promotes awareness and respect for Tiwi land and culture, safeguards the natural environment, protects sacred sites, provides a policing tool for unscrupulous behaviour, and promotes visitor safety.

Companies or organisation based on the Tiwi Islands

Companies and organisations based on the Tiwi Islands for more than three months can apply to the Tiwi Land Council for a Business Login, enabling permits to be issued directly to staff. Employers with Business Logins are responsible for their staff observing the Permit Terms and Conditions, Protocols for Working on the Tiwi Islands and quarantine guidelines. Failure to do so may result in the Business Login being revoked.

Companies or organisation from the mainland

Companies or organisations based on the mainland wanting to work on the Tiwi Islands must apply for work permits for their staff. People with work permits are only permitted to work on the islands. Permits for recreational activities can be applied for here.

Companies or organisations undertaking works on the Tiwi Islands

Companies or organisations undertaking projects on the Tiwi Islands that require approval for land, water and natural resource (sand, gravel, etc.) access, use and/or modification must read the TLC Land Use Request Procedure and complete a TLC Land Use Request Form for submission to the Tiwi Land Council.