While hegemonic development discourse continues to privilege industrial capitalism, Jon Altman has called for an open exploration of creative alternatives that better suit the values and aspirations of ‘kin-based societies’. Building on empirical evidence from decades of research with Indigenous peoples in northern Australia, he has proposed an innovative way to conceptualise regional economies that seeks to re-establish the potential importance to livelihoods of customary production. The actually existing hybrid economies of northern Australia, which draw on Indigenous strengths, are a palpable demonstration that there is an alternative to the ecologically unsustainable status quo. The hybrid economy approach to development does not envisage the sudden elimination of either the market or the state, but rather makes space for other governing logics, thereby enabling Indigenous people to fashion livelihoods that enable them to live on or close to their ancestral lands. Economic hybridity is viewed as here to stay, rather than a transitory arrangement on the road to industrial capitalism. While numerous geographic, demographic and cultural features make remote Indigenous Australia highly distinctive, there are many lessons that might be drawn from the Australian experience in thinking about postdevelopment possibilities elsewhere.