With more than 56,000 charities in Australia, there are thousands of fantastic stories about the impact charities have on their local community.

We recently spoke with Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance about benefits of their work, and how red tape reduction initiatives have helped their charity.

Registered charity Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance aims to develop Australia's Aboriginal communities through cultural programs and skills development

What does your charity do?

Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance (SWFW) aims to position culture as the foundation for the development of the region’s Aboriginal communities through skills development, cultural programs and the creation of culturally-based employment opportunities. We provide a year-round program of activities grounded in arts and skills development across a range of different art forms in our ten communities, many of them aimed at the next generation.

What is the most rewarding part?

The most rewarding part is engaging with Aboriginal communities to develop and deliver projects that foster cultural practices and traditions. SWFW also prides itself in providing opportunities for youth to engage with their Elders which ensures ongoing intergenerational cultural knowledge transfer.

What is the biggest challenge faced by your charity?

Our biggest challenge is the ongoing work of securing annual program and organisational funding to support not only delivering our essential community projects but also to sustain the usual administrative costs of running a business. In order to combat this issue the National Aboriginal Design Agency (NADA) was established in 2012. NADA is the commercial arm to SWFW and acts as a social enterprise with all profits going directly back to SWFW to support administrative resources, cultural projects and our annual Festival.

The ACNC and the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) have an information sharing agreement designed to reduce red tape. How has this benefitted your charity?

SWFW utilises the current relationship for information sharing between the ACNC and Registrar for Indigenous Corporations. We have found this arrangement to be extremely beneficial as it allows one line of reporting for our charity, rather than having to double handle the information for multiple reporting requirements. This allows for our organisation to continue on with regular business.

Find out more about Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance on their website, or on their Facebook page.

Interested in sharing your charity’s story? Email us at charitychat@acnc.gov.au.