The milestone marks a rich history of providing services, offering discounts and advocating for road safety.
The organisation, which has become part of the Territory social fabric since its humble origins in 1963, is offering exclusive member competitions throughout October.
“It’s our birthday and we want to celebrate and say thank you to our members.” says long-serving council member and president Trevor Cox. “That’s one of the things the AANT team really enjoy – giving back to our members.”
AANT, which has patrol officers and contractors servicing even the remotest parts of the Territory, has plenty of room to grow.
The Territory still has a transient population, which means there is always a steady flow of “new Territorians” arriving.
“We want them to make one of the first things they do when arriving in the NT is join us,” says Mr Cox, who has worked and lived in the Territory for more than 30 years.
“AANT is doing very well – and we’re proud of that – but we can always do better.
“We’ve grown with the Territory.”
The automobile association is best known for its extensive roadside assistance services.
“Most of us know how to change a tyre, but do you really want to in the rain or the blistering heat? says Mr Cox. “Call us.”
Top three reasons for road service are battery issues, flat tyres and, yes, keys locked in the car.
Every-day breakdowns in town are the AANT’s bread and butter, but it is remote services that set it apart.
The organisation often goes to the rescue of stranded motorists in the Outback – a service delivered by Territorians.
And depending on the level of membership cover, the service can be free.
“We’ll come to your aid if you break down halfway between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs,” says Mr Cox.
There are three levels of roadside assistance membership – starting at less than $10 a month, it’s a small investment when compared with the cost of calling out a private tow company.
AANT offers discounts on a wide range of goods, from fuel at United service stations to hotels and cinemas.
An average member can get their $110 membership fee back each year on fuel, eGift cards and cinema discounts alone.
The organisation also offers a range of insurance cover options for motor, home and contents, landlords and even travel policies.
AANT is particularly proud of its advocacy work, which includes the annual Street Smart High event, in partnership with the NT Government and MACC, to demonstrate the realities of road trauma and give young drivers the knowledge they need to stay safe on our roads.
More than 1300 senior students from throughout the NT attended the event at Darwin Convention Centre in May.
Young drivers are targeted because statistics show that road crashes are one of the leading causes of death for Australians under the age of 25 – the day a young driver gains a provisional licence their crash rate increases 20-30 times.
“Street Smart High is hugely successful,” says Mr Cox. “Young people hear from crash victims and those who have lost loved ones in road crashes.
“This isn’t an ad campaign – it’s real people, sharing real experiences to young drivers who are gaining their learner or provisional licence. It is a powerful message.”
AANT’s 60th anniversary celebrations include a special event at Parliament House on 19 October.
More than 100 people crammed in the little town hall on a typically humid night in Darwin on 22 October 1963.
As people wiped the sweat from their brows, the Automobile Association of the Northern Territory was born.
Darwin Mayor Harold Cooper got a cheer when he announced the donation of 1500 pounds over three years to get the organisation off the ground.
The NT Administrator chipped in a further 100 pounds. And so from the most humble beginnings the AANT began – and set about becoming a much–loved and highly-respected part of the Territory community.