Mindil Beach at sunset

Territory Day celebrations at Mindil Beach

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (the AAPA) protects sacred sites by consulting with custodians and providing guidance to land users through Authority Certificates. 

Authority Certificates are an effective management tool for land users because they give clear advice on where sacred sites are, and how to work alongside them.  They also provide legal protection from prosecution under the NT Sacred Sites Act.

Mindil Beach is a registered sacred site of utmost significance to Larrakia people, and is a place that is celebrated by the Darwin community.   Larrakia people welcome visitors to the site, and a number of Authority Certificates are issued for events at Mindil, including the Mindil Beach Markets and Bass in the Grass.

NT Major Events has never held an Authority Certificate for Territory Day events at Mindil Beach, nor have Larrakia custodians ever raised objections to the AAPA regarding those events.

Whilst best practice, Authority Certificates are not mandatory and the AAPA has not advised moving Territory Day celebrations from Mindil Beach.  The Authority did advise NT Major Events of the risks associated with the sacred site and how to manage these risks, particularly in light of significant recent coastal erosion.  The decision to proceed or not without an Authority Certificate is entirely a risk management decision for the organiser.