What does the AHED team do?

AHED Facilitator exploring business administration with a Yalu staff member

Note: The AHED no longer operates as such. But what we learnt from it is now being used to help Yolngu get into business around a number of different projects. Sign up for our newsletter, down below, to get the latest information. April 2023 Richard Trudgen.


Jun 4, 2015

The facilitation team helps local Aboriginal people to overcome barriers to achieving their good endeavours.  In doing so we don’t just help people to build locally controlled initiatives. we help people discover their own power to change the world.  While practically there is a clear method we apply that focuses on tangible outcomes, the real benefit is Indigenous people gaining the confidence in themselves to live our their passion and calling.

When a local person comes to one of the facilitators with an idea, the facilitator will help them assess their plan and together the facilitator and the client will decide on the first steps. The facilitator’s job will then be to find the resources, training and people needed to enable the client to live out their vision.

A key part of the Enterprise Facilitation method is about creating a team of people to support the person with the idea. For example a client may approach facilitators with an idea to grow and sell bananas and pawpaws. Their passion and expertise is in growing fruits but they may not know how to organise to sell the produce or find customers, and they may not have the knowledge or aptitude to manage the money and paperwork. While they do what they can on the garden, the facilitator’s job will be to find people or partnerships who can do these other roles. With these other aspects of the business covered the visionary is free to focus on what they love – gardening. The people in the other roles will be drawn from passionate individuals from the local community or from outside the community, either Balanda or Yolŋu who are either skilled or interested in becoming skilled in these areas.

It is not just trade enterprises that can use the facilitation process, but also social and educational projects. The facilitation team will help any endeavour local people are passionate about achieving. For example

  • Someone wants to learn to write; the facilitator will attempt to find a service, or a person who can teach that person, and then access that help. The client will participate by coming and learning.
  • Someone wants to control their diabetes;the facilitator and the client will asses the limitations stopping the client from improving their condition. They will then bring that person together with people and resources to educate them, support them in good eating and exercise, and treating their illness.  In this enterprise the client does the hard work of changing how they eat and live, with the help of a team supporting them.

The client is always the initiator of, and central participant in, the process. In these cases the facilitator, as they do with business planning, may provide some education as part of the process, or they will find people who have the knowledge required.

We hope that such enterprises will lead to the growth of personal, educational and social endeavours, as well as growth of business and trade. This will create opportunities for improved health, control, and freedom from welfare dependence.

Clients who seek training, once successful, may go on to use that new skill to get a job or start a trading enterprise. The key to this growth is controlled by the choices of the people in the community, the facilitators only act to help them through the barriers and show them the paths.

Facilitators are not instant business experts. Their task is not technical execution of projects, rather they concern themselves with helping clients to conceptualize, express and implement what it is they truly wish to achieve. They then offer coaching and direction by questioning the premises upon which the proposed business will be established. In other words, they lead the clients to the water but leave it to them to decide whether they wish to drink or not. It is the client who must take responsibility for developing and working successfully with partners and team members. Facilitators assist. The client does the heavy lifting.