“Boh boh comrade!” NLC pays tribute to a loyal servant of the NT, The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

Date: Feb 17, 2022

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Land Rights

Following his valedictory speech in Canberra yesterday the Northern Land Council takes this opportunity to thank the member for Lingiari, the Honourable Warren Snowdon MP, for his loyal service to the Northern Territory, and Aboriginal Territorians in particular, for over 30 years representing our interests in Canberra.

In his speech to the House of Representatives he spoke of his early work with Doctor H C Coombs and Doctor Maria Brandl that produced ground-breaking research documented in the 1983 publication ‘A Certain Heritage’. That book continues to provide useful reference points for people working in Aboriginal communities today. 

After his early days in the Territory as a school teacher, Warren worked for the Central Land Council as a senior policy officer from 1983 until elected to represent the (then) seat of the Northern Territory in the House of Representatives, where - apart from a three year gap - he has served ever since. During that time he has spent 15 years on the government benches, many of them as a Minister or Assistant Minister. 

Warren has always been a hard-working, fearless and feisty advocate for the interests of all Territorians, but in particular his constituents in Lingiari.

And Warren enjoyed many successes, not least in his capacity as Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery from 2009 to 2010 and while Minister for Indigenous Health from 2010 to 2013. In that role he led an enduring piece of ground-breaking policy, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023 that remains in force to this day. 

A key contribution was overseeing a $50m Commonwealth investment to build new primary health care clinics at Robinson River, Ngukurr, Canteen Creek, Numbulwar, Elliot, Galiwinku, Ntaria and upgrade health clinics at Titjikala, Papunya, Maningrida, and Docker River.” 

NLC Chair Samuel Bush-Blanasi speaks fondly of his good friend and “comrade” Warren Snowdon. “Over these many years Warren has attended many NLC Full Council meetings, in fact it may well be true that Warren has been to more Full Council meetings than anyone else!

“Warren always was and always will be welcome at any NLC Full Council meeting in the future and from all of us at the Northern Land Council we wish him and his family a happy time in retirement. 

“Boh boh, Comrade!!” * 

“Boh boh” is a central Arnhem Land term of affectionate farewell, but not goodbye.