The NLC and police working together

Date: Dec 12, 2021

Publication Type: Blog

Subject: Newspaper

Staff members of the Northern Land Council have been briefing new police recruit squads on the key compliance issues faced by land councils, Traditional Owners and communities across the Top End.

NLC staff and Wagiman rangers enjoy getting to know the police recruits.

Police recruits discuss the importance of cultural engagement.

The squads included Frontline Auxiliary Stream 70, Constable Squad 142 and Aboriginal Community Police Officer Squad 27.

NLC Chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi, Women’s Sub-Committee Chair Joy Cardona, Sea Country’s Jamie Damaso and Compliance Project Coordinator Carmen Taylor visited the NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) College in Darwin in August.

Topics of discussion included the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (ALRA), Aboriginal Lands Act (ALA), the Blue Mud Bay decision and illegal activities that commonly occur on Aboriginal land. 

The visit in August was followed up with another presentation in October, which included presentations from Bulgul Ranger Coordinator Timothy BurrBurr and other NLC staff members. Several Wagiman Rangers from Pine Creek also attended the October session, where they shared a BBQ lunch with the new recruits.

Marcellus Nurse (L) and Ashok Kumar (R) whip up a BBQ lunch.

Acting Senior Sergeant Matt Allen said all recruits appreciated the NLC’s attendance and contribution to their courses.

“Many of these recruits will be working in communities in the NLC regional areas so it is vital that they get a good understanding of the many facets of life and law out there,’’ said Senior Sergeant Allen.

The new recruits also completed a cross-cultural language unit where they were required to research and present on Indigenous languages spoken in the NT.

Marcellus Nurse, who is soon to be posted to Katherine, is a member of the Frontline Auxiliary Stream 70.

Mr Nurse said the language unit was a fantastic way for his team to prepare for community engagement during their posting.

‘’Our communities are comprised of many different cultures and people who speak and understand many different languages. So trying our best to engage with the community can help the NTPFES connect and understand all the different aspects of the different cultures, which can then help us with our job to serve and protect,’’ he said.

‘’As the NT is made up of 30 per cent Indigenous people – 60 per cent of whom speak their language at home and 90 per cent who live remote - we think these figures alone show how important our cultural competence and partnerships are within these communities.”

Mr Bush-Blanasi said he’s looking forward to continuing this partnership between police and the NLC.  

“It’s good for the police recruit squads to build strong relationship with Rangers and Traditional Owners,” he said.