NLC historic elections on the eve of 50th anniversary

Date: Dec 7, 2022

Publication Type: Media Releases

Subject: Elections

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The NLC made history today with delegates to the 124th Full Council meeting in Katherine voting to re-elect Samuel Bush-Blanasi as NLC Chair for a historic fourth term. Only one other person exceeds Dr Bush-Blanasi’s tenure as Chair of the Northern Land Council, the great Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.

“It’s a great privilege to be re-elected as Chair. I have been a member of the Northern Land Council since 1989, more than half my life,” said Dr Bush-Blanasi, the 2023 Australian of the Year for the Northern Territory. 

“We have had a lot of challenges in the past three years with lockdowns and disruption but we are back on our feet now. Next year is our 50th anniversary and I am proud to lead our 77 other Council Members as we celebrate this historic milestone.” Dr Bush-Blanasi said. 

The incoming NLC Chair also reflected on what the future holds as the nation approaches one of its most important decisions since the 1967 Referendum. 

“I want to use my role to support the Voice and Constitutional Recognition for Aboriginal people. We have waited long enough. It's time get this done. Once and for all,” Dr Bush- Blanasi said. 

Dr Bush-Blanasi also welcomed the election of Mr Calvin Deveraux as Deputy Chair. 

“Congratulations to Calvin. I appreciate his support as Deputy Chair. We also have a new Executive to work with. I want to congratulate all members of the Northern Land Council for being successfully elected in their positions as Council Members. You have a lot of work to do to represent your regions and communities. You have a lot of important decisions to make, too.” 

Deputy Chairman Calvin Deveraux said: “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of working alongside Chair Bush-Blanasi as Deputy Chair of the NLC. The Land Council has a lot of important work to do and I want to support outcomes for all Traditional Owners”. 

NLC CEO Joe Martin-Jard congratulated Dr Bush-Blanasi on his election as Chair for a fourth consecutive term. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Chair as one half of the Accountable Authority,” Mr Martin-Jard said. “I value his commitment to strengthening governance and am pleased to be able to support him in that important goal.” 

“I also look forward to working with the new Executive Council, Regional Council and Full Council and congratulate all Members on their election as Members of the Northern Land Council,” Mr Martin-Jard added. 

The 2022-2025 NLC Full Council Chair, Deputy Chair and Executive Council positions are as follows: 

NLC Chairman: Samuel Bush-Blanasi 
NLC Deputy Chair: Calvin Deveraux 

NLC Executive Council 

South East Arnhem region: Peter Lansen & Virginia Nundhirribala 
East Arnhem region: Djawa Yunupingu & Yananymul Munungurr
Victoria River District region: Lorraine Jones & Raymond Hector
Katherine region: Helen Lee
Darwin/Daly region: Bill Danks
West Arnhem region: Matthew Ryan & Julius (Clint) Kernan
Borroloola/Barkly: Chris Neade & Joy Priest