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Damien right at home

Posted: Thu, October 20, 2011

Damien Djerrkura has taken over as the NLC’s Regional Co-ordinator for the East Arnhem region.

A FAMILIAR face is now greeting traditional owners when they visit the Northern Land Council’s East Arnhem regional office in Nhulunbuy.

Emerging Yolngu leader Damien Djerrkura recently began work as the regional co-ordinator of the East Arnhem region and it’s a role the 34-year-old is already relishing.

“Having grown up on the Gove Peninsula, I know the people and I think that’s a really important thing in a job like this,” he said.

“Hopefully, members from all of the Yolngu clans find it comfortable dealing with one of their own – especially on matters which require a culturally sensitive approach.”

His late father fought tirelessly for the rights of Aboriginal peoples, both as  Chairman of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and long-serving member of the NLC.

“I feel honoured to work at the NLC and in some small way I feel I am continuing on the work of my father.”

Damien is the older brother of AFL player Nathan Djerrkura and undertook his secondary schooling in Darwin before completing Year 12 in Queensland.

He has taken over the regional co-ordinator’s role from Richard Singh, who has moved back to Darwin to work in the NLC’s regional development branch.

He comes to the NLC after spending the past few years in civil construction.

Two other new faces have joined Damien in the Nhulunbuy regional office in recent months.

Another new face came aboard in February when Susan Sandery crossed over from Laynhupuy Homelands, joining Jaclyn Corbett, who has been based at NLC’s Nhulunbuy regional office since 2006.