Our Members: Growing up with Land Rights

Jarred Menz is a Barkindji Wilyakali man from Broken Hill. He is Deputy Chair of the Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council and proud team member of the Menindee Wedge-tail Eagles Rugby team.

I’ve always been taught to fight for what’s right. I was reared up within the Land Council and Land Rights. Our family, we were at the Mutawintji blockade and the hand back and the recent anniversary.

My Grandmother would be my biggest Land Rights role model. You’d hear her say to the family, “You need to come to meetings, if you don’t come to meetings it’s just going to be lost. You need to fight for Land Rights, you need to fight for housing for Aboriginal people. It’s about everything the social, the economic – the lot.”

I’ve worked in child and adolescent mental health and child protection for ten years. I got my Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) from CSU in 2008 and now I’m part of the Community Safety Research Program based at Maari Ma Health in Broken Hill.

My commitment and passion is to help family and not just Aboriginal families but all families.

I think people should become members of their Land Council because you’re doing something for your community, you’re doing something for your people. You can be part of making change happen.

Being on the Land Council board is a lot of work. You work many weekends and nights it takes a lot of commitment, but it’s worth it.

The benefits of membership for me are that I can see the change in our Land Council work over time. You can see the growth happening, the community can see the growth happening, I can see that giving back to the community is rewarding.

And it’s not just for now it’s for the future. It’s for my children, your children, the children that will be affected by our decisions, fights and choices that we make today. You’ve just got to keep going with it all.

I say to young people, anyone, find out about your local Land Council, get in there and give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose, you can only gain from being involved in the Land Council.