Nicky Hayes engaging youth in Ltyentye Apurte and Alice Springs

[supplied by NIAA]


AAAC Program Coordinator, Georgia rRan, Nicky Hayes and AAAC CEO Susie Lowe. 

Image: supplied

Nicky Hayes is a Ltyentye Apurte Traditional Owner and a proud Arrernte man who cares about the youth in his community.

Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) is home to the first indoor skate park of its kind in a remote community in the Northern Territory.

Nicky, who is the Northern Territory’s first Indigenous qualified skateboard instructor, campaigned for the facility.

He said the initiative isn’t just about skating.

‘I want to provide a chance for young people to try new things and be engaged on other levels and expose them to a world and community outside of their own,’ he said.

‘This largely non-competitive sport is an all-inclusive platform where you can find solidity while building comradery and companionship.’

Nicky is also a businessman who was recently part of something he will remember forever.

He launched Spinifex Skateboards at Watch This Space Gallery in Mparntwe, Alice Springs.

Throughout that night, there were skate jams engaging a cross-section of the Mparntwe community and drew a crowd of over 200 people.

Spinifex merchandise and locally designed skateboards were available for purchase.

The line for the pop-up shop did not stop all night!

All proceeds from the merchandise sales, then and now, go back into the business. They also help fund First Nations Skate Tours for the Ltyentye Apurte youth.


Spinifex merchandise displayed in the first gallery exhibition for the Ltyentye Apurte Traditional Craft Centre.

Nicky was also honoured to be part of the first gallery exhibition for the Ltyentye Apurte Traditional Craft Centre.

Both the skate park and craft centre are community-led initiatives, and part of many exciting social enterprises in Ltyentye Apurte.

The initiatives are proudly supported by Atyenhenge Atherre Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC).

Along with the new skateboard label and craft centre, there is a hair salon, second-hand furniture store and a coffee cart. This is all in a remote community of approximately 500 people.

Most of these social enterprises were seed funded from the Stronger Communities for Children Program showing that local decision making and community-led initiatives are pivotal to strong community development.


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