Resignation of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council Chief Executive Officer

18 June 2021

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is searching for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the resignation of James Christian from the position he has held for the past four and a half years.

NSWALC Chair, Anne Dennis said Mr Christian leaves NSWALC and the Land Rights network in a strong position.

“Since his appointment as CEO in 2017, James had provided strong leadership and a level of professionalism and innovation that has the Land Rights network in excellent shape.

“During James’s time as CEO, NSWALC has lodged and processed a record number of Aboriginal Land claims, and made great progress on our economic development strategy, Aboriginal Culture and Heritage protection, relationships with governments and engagement with our network.

He led the establishment of two subsidiary companies responsible for Housing, Training and Employment, oversaw the design and delivery of the Yarpa Indigenous Business Hub in partnership with the Australian Government, and was instrumental in forming the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance.

“On behalf of my fellow Councillors and Local Aboriginal Land Council members, I thank James for his enormous contribution to improving the lives, aspirations and opportunities of Aboriginal people in New South Wales,” she said.

Mr Christian, a Wiradjuri man from the Riverina area, came to NSWALC after working in numerous senior executive roles at both Commonwealth and State Government levels.

Mr Christian thanked Councillors, NSWALC staff and the Land Rights network for the opportunity to lead the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia.

“I am privileged to have served as CEO of NSWALC. Aboriginal people have fought hard for Land Rights and are in a unique position of having a land rights system that can open opportunities to grow economically, strengthen culture and support our young people to build on the work of the Land Rights Warriors.

I have had the pleasure of working with many talented people who are committed to increasing the Aboriginal estate, reforming Aboriginal Culture and Heritage law and continuing our advocacy for government to meet its responsibilities under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

In my role I have strived to ensure we all remember how important our work is, to turn our hard-fought gains into better opportunities for our mob,” he said.

Mr Christian is discussing an appropriate departure date with the NSWALC Council as well as acting arrangements while the recruitment of a new CEO takes place.