Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (April 2013)
The Central Land Council has a new Chairman.
Mr Maurie Ryan, 65, was elected at the Council’s meeting in Tennant Creek on April 17 this year.
He replaces Phillip Wilyuka who was elected at a meeting in Tennant Creek in May last year when Mr Bookie was not reelected to the position when he gave a conditional resignation before his term was complete.
Mr Ryan is a member of the Stolen Generations who was born under a tree at Wave Hill Station and taken away to Croker Island where he lived until he was eight before being sent to an orphanage in South Australia.
He is a former school teacher who has also worked at a number of jobs including building roads and working for Arrernte Council in Alice Springs.
Mr Ryan is a former Deputy Chair of the CLC and has served on the CLC Executive and been a CLC delegate for a number of years.
Mr Ryan lived in various places around Australia before returning to his grandfathers country in Kalkarindji.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Mr Ryan said.
“I am a proud Australian and I hope I can achieve everything I have hoped for,” he said.
“I want to have a voice for people for issues like the discriminatory Basics Card, banned drinkers, economic bases for remote areas and outstations and bilingual education.
“ Education is extremely important. I am supportive of bilingual education I am a school teacher so I am supportive of many things to do with education. Education is the key. It opens doors. It opened the door for me,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Francis Kelly from Yuendumu was elected Deputy Chair at the meeting.
Delegates to the Council are elected by their communities from each of the CLC’s nine regions.
The delegates vote for the Chairman and Executive members at elections conducted by the NT Electoral Commission and overseen by FaHCSIA.
Voting is by the preferential system and is for a threeyear term.