Media release - Thursday 22 August 2013 
High-speed connectivity comes to the Laynhapuy Homelands

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has arrived in Baniyala homeland in Arnhem Land, connecting this remote Indigenous community with the world through high-speed satellite internet.

Baniyala now boasts one of the first NBN Interim Satellite connections in the region, and is a leading community in the Australian NBN rollout.

Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation (“Laynha”) instigated the NBN connection in April 2013 through application to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The Baniyala health clinic, ranger station and office are now online via new NBN satellite dishes.

Barayuwa Mununggurr, Laynha Chairman, said today, “Laynha is very happy to be associated with the connection of the homelands with this new technology. Yolngu want to be able to live on their traditional clan lands while at the same time being able to communicate with the outside world.” 

Baniyala clinic with new NBN satellite connection
Baniyala, also known as Yilpara, is a Yolngu homeland community located on the shores of Blue Mud Bay, approximately 3 hours drive from Nhulunbuy, in NE Arnhem Land. Home to about 100 Yolngu residents, the community has a school, clinic, store, and burgeoning cultural tourism industry. 

Laynha is in process of establishing further NBN connections across eight homeland communities, where existing satellite connections are prohibitively slow and expensive. Homeland leaders are enthusiastic about the prospect of high capacity internet access. The Baniyala community will now be able to discuss homelands business face to face via video-calling, and with further NBN rollout in process across Laynhapuy homelands, will soon be able to meet remotely with other homeland leaders.

In Baniyala the NBN will allow for download speeds of up to 6Mbps, with each satellite connection providing 10 GB shaped data allowance each month.

NBN connection will benefit the Baniyala community access to the Money Management program, which provides internet kiosks and will be able to offer computer training.

Laynha Health staff are also keen to start making use of NBN connections in homeland clinics, to communicate interactively with the Yirrkala base, and so Yolngu health workers and visiting officers can use video-calling technology to consult with medical and specialist services. Quick and reliable internet connection has potential to revolutionise health service delivery within remote Indigenous communities.

For the Yirralka Rangers, a division of Laynha, having NBN means that they will be able to communicate immediately regarding various factors affecting environmental management and border protection.

Established in 1984, Laynha is a Yolngu member-based service provider in the North East Arnhem region. Programs delivered include housing, infrastructure and municipal services, health and community services, aviation and the Yirralka Rangers. There are approximately 1,400 Yolngu living in the Laynhapuy Homelands, with vibrant communities maintaining traditional culture and law. Laynha supports the vision and leadership of the homelands movement, whereby people live and thrive on their traditional land.