The Centre for Appropriate Technology

The Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) is a national Indigenous science and technology organisation funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to deliver a range of services to Indigenous communities, through three programs:


Bushlight is an install, repair and maintain renewable (solar) energy (RE) systems in remote Indigenous communities to increase the access of small remote Indigenous communities to energy services which are affordable, consistent and reliable. 

 To date, Bushlight has installed over 120 RE systems, and in July 2008 Bushlight celebrated a milestone of working with 100 remote Indigenous communities.

Jointly funded program between the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. 

Technical Resources Group

Technical Resources Group (TRG) have received funding for a range of functions for Indigenous communities including:

  • research and evaluation of technologies that support improved infrastructure, housing and essential services support services, and
  • ongoing liaison with service providers on issues affecting the provision of essential services to small remote Indigenous communities.

National Indigenous Infrastructure Guide (NIIG)

CAT and FaHCSIA have developed a National Indigenous Infrastructure Guide (NIIG). The guide provides an integrated framework for understanding major infrastructure delivery issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

It brings together existing research, codes and standards, resources and other materials on community infrastructure.  The guide seeks to provide the user with an awareness of the issues that need to be considered in delivering various aspects of infrastructure for Indigenous communities.

Publication is expected later in 2009.

Integrated Technical Services

Integrated Technical Services is a pilot program to trial and evaluate a model of access to sustainable essential technical services work in remote Indigenous communities along the Plenty Highway area in the Northern Territory.  For 2008-09, funding of $300,000 has been provided.

ITS deliver a range of infrastructure related services to communities including assisting with capacity building and identifying appropriate infrastructure to address community needs.  Examples are the drilling and maintenance of bores and water supplies and maintaining fences and airstrips.

Content Updated: 22 February 2013