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East Arnhem Regional Council
Submission on Indigenous Voice
Following consultation with all Local Authorities, participation in the community consultation process across
the region, and further consideration, the East Arnhem Regional Council has formally resolved that Council
strongly supports and endorses the Principles, Policy Framework and Objectives of Local, Regional and
National Voice, and this submission on it.
The East Arnhem Regional Council is comprised of 14 Councillors elected from 6 cultural based electoral
wards, and a total of 126 Local Authority Members across 9 Local Authorities, to represent over 10,000
people, with an Aboriginal population over 90 per cent.
The East Arnhem region has a range of traditional based authority structures within it. These include the
‘Dilak’, ‘Yolngu Nations’, ‘Bapurru’, amongst others for the Yolngu people, and various clan and traditional
owner alliances of the Anindilyakwa people, with cultural links to the Yolngu and other mainland
There is also a wide range of Aboriginal controlled corporations and organisations that link with, and also
diverge from the cultural authority structures. These include the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, Gumatj
Corporation, YBE/NEAL Miwatj Health, Yothu Yindi Foundation, Homelands Organisations, Yalu, ALPA,
Gongdal, Aminjarrinja, GEBIE, GEAT, the ALC and many more.
The number and diversity of both traditional Aboriginal authority structures, corporations and organisations
represents both an opportunity and challenge in supporting a stronger Local, Regional and National Voice.
As an Aboriginal Community Controlled Local Government, the East Arnhem Regional Council is committed
to play a positive role in working with the Australian Government Indigenous Voice framework, and the
Northern Territory Government Local Decision Making Framework – on how to effectively engage with and
include all traditional based structures and other Aboriginal corporations and organisations – and all
community and homeland members, the young and disabled, to support genuine Indigenous empowerment
across East Arnhem Land.
The NT Local Decision Making Framework Policy and Agreements, need to be reviewed to be in line with
the updated National Agreement on Closing the Gap and, upon approval, the more comprehensive and
advanced Principles-based Framework for Local, Regional and National Indigenous Voice.
The East Arnhem Regional Council supports and is in alignment with all 9 Principles of the Voice.
EARC nominates the East Arnhem region as one of the Voice Regions across Australia, for approval by the
Australian Government. An East Arnhem wide Local and Regional Voice structure will ensure the capacity,
sustainability and sound governance required to support the realisation of the principles, policy framework
and objectives of the Local, Regional and National Voice.
The maximum considered number of 35 Voice Regions is supported to maximise the scope and benefits to
Aboriginal people from the Indigenous Voice process in other regions of the Northern Territory and Australia.
The East Arnhem Regional Council supports the nomination of two representatives to the National Voice,
as agreed by the 6 Voice Regions across the Northern Territory. The representatives will serve as
champions and advocates for the formal positions and resolutions that come from the respective and
collective Voice Regions, on matters that require consideration by the National Government and Parliament.
The maximum of 18 Representatives is supported to allow the Torres Strait and ACT to also have one male
and one female representative, to ensure culturally appropriate and gender balanced representation.
Note Regarding Formal Council Role
In East Arnhem the Regional Local Government Council has a formal legislated role that can support the
realisation of the worthy objectives of the Indigenous Voice and Local Decision Making.
Community Advisory Boards were created with the formation of the Regional Council in 2008 and further
strengthened in 2014 into Local Authorities, through formalising their role, ensuring full secretariat support
and responses to their decisions, the allocation of designated funds, and a direct advisory role to the
Regional Council and, in turn, the other two levels of Government.
The Local Authorities have a legislated role:
“to allow local communities a voice in the formulation of policies for the locality as well as policies for the
area and the region, and
“to take the views of local communities back to the council and act as advocates on their behalf.”
The Regional Council has a legislated role:
“to play a broad role in promoting the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of their local
“to be responsive to the needs, interests and aspirations of individuals and groups within its area”
“to cooperate with Territory and national governments in the delivery of services for the benefit of its area.”
East Arnhem Regional Council Structure
Formally Endorsed by:
Elliot Bara Gordon Walsh
Anindilyakwa Ward Anindilyakwa Ward
Yananymul Mununggurr Djuwalpi Marika
Councillor Deputy President
Gumurr Miwatj Ward Gumurr Miwatj Ward
Yirrmal Marika Joe Djakala
Gumurr Miwatj Ward Gumurr Gattjirrk Ward
Lapulung Dhamarrandji Jason Mirritjawuy
Gumurr Gattjirrk Ward Birr Rawarrang Ward
Bobby Wunungmurra Wesley Bandi Wunungmurra
Gumurr Miyarrka Ward Gumurr Miyarrka Ward
David Djalangi Evelyna Dhamarrandji
Gumurr Marthakal Ward Gumurr Marthakal Ward
Gumurr Marthakal Ward