Editorial: Our Mob Your Vote – Make your vote count at NSWALC Elections

Our Mob Your Vote – make your vote count at NSWALC Elections

Welcome to the September edition of OurMob. For the last few months, the OurMob team has been on the road, meeting mob from all around the State, profiling the incredible work underway throughout the Land Rights network. Over coming months, we will showcase the many achievements of some of our Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

In this edition, we include important details about next month’s NSWALC elections. If you are a voting member of a Local Aboriginal Land Council, Saturday 31 October gives you the chance to have your say in how the Land Rights network is run. Candidates in nine regions are up for election to four-year terms. We really need everyone to have their say and vote on 31 October. Your vote does count.

We will review the Statewide Conference which brought together more than 250 of our members in the Hunter Valley. Over four days delegates representing 120 Local Aboriginal Land Councils participated in workshops on a wide range of issues.

Delegates to last month’s Statewide Conference had a sneak preview of the videos which were screened as part of the nine Regional Presentations. The profiles underline the diversity of the Land Rights network, our achievements and challenges and capture the best of our mob and our country at its finest.

Land Council members also had the opportunity to listen to our keynote speaker Sir Tipene O’Regan, an Elder from the Ngai Tahu tribe in New Zealand. The Ngai Tahu’s experiences in converting a land settlement deal into a billion-dollar business inspired delegates and set the scene for discussion around the Conference theme of “Our Land Council Our Mob Our Future”.

We profile NSWALC staff member Sol Bellear, who will share some of his early experiences in the fight for Land Rights and explain why it’s important for people, particularly our youth, to have their say and vote on 31 October.

In our Member Profile, we visit Eden LALC to spend time with Uncle Ossie Cruse and his son BJ who talk about their long involvement in the Land Rights movement and how land is keeping culture strong and creating tourism and job opportunities with the Bundian Way.

Some of the forward thinking in the Land Rights network is featured in our story on the historic agreement between Forster LALC and Mid-Coast Water that resulted in the Land Council transferring land to a government utility while retaining cultural access.

We profile Baradine LALC to learn how rich Aboriginal culture is attracting tourists from as far afield as Europe and we visit Wagga Wagga LALC and understand how the history of Land Rights and cultural identity can engage and empower young people to become tomorrow’s leaders.

OurMob pays tribute to Land Rights Legend Kevin Cook, who sadly passed away recently. Cookie, as he was affectionately known, was NSWALC’s first elected Chairperson and led from the front to build the foundation of the Land Rights network in New South Wales. Although he was a humble man, Cookie, was front and centre of negotiations on Land Rights legislation and Parliament’s passage of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act in 1983.

We profile Bowraville LALC’s partnership with the NSW Government to build a new memorial to remember the lives of three children murdered more than 20 years ago.

In other news, we congratulate winners of the NSWALC Recognition Awards, which were presented at the Statewide Conference.

In coming weeks, mob will gather at Dubbo for the annual Knockout. We look forward to seeing you there. Make sure you drop in to the NSWALC stall and also take time out to find out more about the NSWALC elections on 31 October.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nswalc, where you’ll see photos from the Statewide Conference. And while you’re there, please like our page.

See you at the Knockout!