Pay The Rent program is organised by First Nations and non-First Nations people working together, as the Pay The Rent Grassroots Collective. This Collective is based on the lands of the Kulin Nation in Victoria, Australia. If you live outside Victoria, sign up to emails and we’ll send you updates and information about other groups where possible.
We pay our respects to those who have developed and promoted the Pay The Rent concept – including Bruce McGuinness, Bejam Kunmunara Jarlow Nunukel Kabool and the National Aboriginal and Islander Health Organisation (NAIHO).
After extensive conversations and consultations, the Pay The Rent Grassroots Collective has been established under the ‘Sovereign Body, Corporate Arm’ model. This model allows for a Sovereign Body of First Nations people to make decisions about how the money is allocated, while a Corporate Arm of conscientious non-Aboriginal people undertakes the logistical and administrative work.
The Sovereign Body are a group of First Nations people who are working to establish Pay the Rent as an organisation which collectively ensure decisions are made transparently and are centered around the needs of First Nations people.
The Sovereign Body is currently working through how to honour the legacy of the Elders and their role in the movement; and how money allocations can be fair and transparent to First Nation communities.
Pay The Rent is not for profit company registered with ASIC.
We have benefited enormously from the input of many Aboriginal Elders, scholars and activists, as well as in sharing ideas with other groups (e.g Balaangala (Qld) and researching similar historical initiatives (e.g Fitzroy Pay The Rent group).
Key principles of the Pay The Rent:
- Aboriginal people should have control of any Rent received
- Paying the Rent is about non-Indigenous people honouring the Sovereignty of Aboriginal people; it is a somewhat more just way of living on this stolen land.
- This model for Paying the Rent transfers money/wealth on a grassroots to grassroots basis; it doesn’t involve governments or big business.
- It is not enough for non-Indigenous people to only Pay The Rent. Treaty, advocacy, and solidarity with actions to promote, defend and support land justice are also necessary.
We see this group as a grassroots-to-grassroots initiative; it enables funds to be contributed by individuals directly to grassroots causes and campaigns with a focus on protecting First Nations rights, including practical support such as sustaining a Funeral Fund.
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Pay The Rent ⇓
“Pay The Rent offers all Australians an opportunity to work outside of government to right the wrongs.”
Ted Wilkeslife-time fighter for Aboriginal rights & Nyungar elder of the Wilak clan
“We all exist on lands which have never been ceded. Righting the past wrongs is a social responsibility we all share. Proud advocate of Pay The Rent.”
Hana Assafiri OAMfounder, Moroccan Soup Bar
“We need to stop paying lip service to decolonisation and start Paying The Rent to the First Nations people.”