Council appoints Yuseph Deen as acting CEO following James Christian’s departure

25 June, 2021

25 June 2021

Council appoints Yuseph Deen as acting CEO following James Christian’s departure  

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) CEO, James Christian will leave the organisation he has headed up for the past four and a half years today.

The NSWALC Council has accepted Mr Christian’s resignation and appointed Mr Yuseph Deen to act as CEO while the recruitment for a new CEO takes place. 

During Mr Christian’s time as CEO, NSWALC lodged and processed a record number of land claims on behalf of Aboriginal people.  Mr Christian also 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.

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

“During James’ time as CEO, NSWALC has made great progress on the return of lands, our economic development strategy, Aboriginal Culture and Heritage protection, relationships with governments and engagement with our network. On behalf of my fellow Councillors, 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 said it has been a privilege to lead the largest member-based Aboriginal organisation in Australia.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as CEO of NSWALC and work with so many talented people committed to a land rights system that can open opportunities for our communities to grow economically, strengthen culture and support our young people. I would like to thank the NSWALC Councillors for their support, the NSWALC staff for their hard work, and the Land Rights network for your ongoing dedication to our communities and the future generations who will follow us,” he said.

NSWALC’s acting CEO, Yuseph Deen was previously NSWALC’s Executive Director of Network Delivery. Originally from the Cairns region of North Queensland, Mr Deen is a descendant of the Wuthathi peoples of Cape York with ancestral connections to the lower Western Islands of the Torres Strait. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland and has worked at NSWALC for the past 13 years.


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.