Meet NLC’s new Kakadu Joint Management Officer Natasha Nadji
Date: Apr 28, 2022
Publication Type: Blog
Ms Nadji is the NLC’s new Kakadu Joint Management Officer. She sat down with Land Rights News to share stories with us about her family, growing up on country and her hopes for the future of Kakadu National Park.
“I am Natasha Nadji, known as Tash to friends and family. I am a descendant of Bill Niedjie and Jonathon Nadji, we are Bunitj and Gaagadju people. I am also a descendant of Raidar Nesset and Sharon Auld, my Norwegian descended family.
I grew up in Jabiru and at Cannon Hill Outstation, both places are held dear to my heart. I attended the school in Jabiru, this is where I gathered the skills to communicate with those outside of my family group.
Cannon Hill is my first home, this is the country my fathers’ family comes from. This is where I go to heal myself and my family, the country calls us home when we are gone for too long.
I am so privileged to have a place that I can come back to and know I am safe and can provide for my family. I am lucky that our families fought to keep this country what it is today, also proud to have learned from some of our great leaders. Growing up out here I was taught to uphold the laws of our cultures and to be strong for our people, I am grateful to have been given this knowledge of our fathers’ country and laws.
I believe my role as the new Joint Management Officer is to support the Traditional Owners in the management of the park and to help them maintain this connection to country and all stakeholders involved. To ensure that all parties are adhering to the laws of the Section 19 Act and all other complexities, to help ensure that the cultural knowledge passed on by Traditional Owners is always protected and kept within the right clan groups. I hope to help our people become a stronger force so our communities can become self-sustaining in all aspects of life.
In this position I am looking forward to working closely with all the family groups with ties to the management of the park, I hope that we can all work together to overcome some of the hurdles that have slowed down progress on country and within the clans; Covid-19, sorry business, clan successions, seasonal work and much more.
With all the amazing work that has already been done I realise this is a big journey for everyone, I am proud to be taking this journey with them. This will strengthen the relationships between clan groups, I am hoping that others from our community take interest in similar positions throughout Kakadu. This has always been the hope for Kakadu’s future, Traditional Owners and families to prepare for when the lease is finally handed back to our community and outstations are being self-maintained and self-sufficient. This will help shape this position into what the Traditional Owners, stakeholders and community needs. Great teamwork will achieve great outcomes.
As a former ranger and a Traditional Owner I hope to see a future of Traditional Owners running and managing their own businesses, and generations working continuously on their homelands. I want to see the country taken care of the way my father and my generations have, with no restrictions to cultural practices and responsibilities. Agreements upheld and fulfilled with support and respect for each other, that have realistic outcomes for future families to thrive.
I hope that when my great grandchildren are here in this world they get to experience the land, culture and family kinship that I am blessed with. I want to pass my knowledge on to the next generations knowing that they will be proud living the same way their ancestors did: sharing, caring and protecting this wonderful way of life. I will work hard to achieve this in my lifetime, I know others do too."