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An Indigenous organisation with a beautiful historic name is quietly providing social and affordable housing to Aboriginal people who are disadvantaged in the mainstream housing market.

Yilli Rreung Housing Aboriginal Corporation owns four properties but manages 246 others. 

The largest Indigenous provider of community housing in the Northern Territory manages the tenancies and municipal services of several Indigenous communities and town camps. 

Yilli Rreung, which has $7 million in assets, means The Meeting Place – it was a ceremonial gathering ground above Lameroo Beach, near Doctors Gully, on the Esplanade in Darwin, where people would paddle across Darwin Harbour in their canoes to meet. 

The independent, non-government corporation, which was formed in 2003, is a nationally registered community housing provider. 

Its vision is to deliver accessible and sustainable quality housing to people in the Top End of the Territory. 

Chief Executive Michael Berto has to be not just a good manager but a smart diplomat because Yilli Rreung has to maintain respectful partnerships with a string of other organisations, including Territory Government departments. 

“We have good relations with lots of people and organisations and that is important for our work to be effective,” he says. 


Yilli Rreung has four divisions. 

Affordable and social housing 

Accommodation is offered in Darwin and Palmerston at a rate below the average rental price. The main target group is low-income families and individuals who are not eligible for public housing yet cannot access private rentals. 

Community housing 

Housing is provided to Indigenous people in 10 community living areas – town camps and outstations. 

Yilli also maintains electricity and solar power, roads, sewerage, water, ground maintenance and rubbish removal in the communities. 


Short-term accommodation is provided at the former INPEX overflow workers’ village in Batten Road, Marrara. Guests receive meals, laundry and support services. 

“Guests come into Darwin from remote communities for all sorts of reasons, including medical treatment,” says Mr Berto. 

The rooms are usually for independent visitors who have not been able to get a place to stay in the commercial market or with their families. Many of the rooms were used in January to house people evacuated from the flooded Pigeon Hole community. 

Projects, repairs and maintenance 

Yilli has a dedicated team to carry out house repairs, yard maintenance and cleaning, as well as infrastructure projects. It employs local Indigenous workers and does its best to support Indigenous-owned subcontractors. 

The housing provided is governed by a volunteer board of five directors selected for their diverse skills, knowledge, ability and commitment to helping the community. 

Yill has a team of property managers who also organise repairs and maintenance. 

Mr Berto, who was appointed Chief Executive in November 2022, was born in Darwin. 


Yilli Rreung Housing Aboriginal Corporation 

ICN 4241 | ABN 4898 3249 337 

PO BOX 347 Palmerston 0831 

(08) 89350100