NSWALC Council Communique – Meeting 439

8 March, 2023

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) met for its 439th meeting in Parramatta from Wednesday 15 February to Thursday 16 February 2023.

A number of topics were discussed, including areas below.

NSWALC Educational Scholarship

The NSWALC Council has made a decision on the two successful applicants for the 2023 NSWALC Educational Scholarship.

There is one male and one female recipient this year. A Media Release will be issued in the near future, once all applicants have been notified.

The 2023/2024 Scholarship round will open on 1 July 2023.

Yilabara Update

Council approved the appointment of three new Yilabara Directors.

Carrie Baldwin is a Wiradjuri woman with extensive experience in global organisations and small startups. She has a Master of Information Technology Management and Bachelor of Business.

Kerry O’Brien is a Wiradjuri man who grew up on Darkinjung land. He is an employment, safety and disputes lawyer and is currently Chair of the Redfern Legal Centre.

Malcolm Monteiro has held senior executive roles in a number of large corporations. He holds  a Master of Economics and Bachelor of Engineering, and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Yilabara Solutions also updated Council with welcome news of three new accreditations since September 2022. They are: Right Fit For Risk (Cybersecurity), ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems) and Quality Assurance Framework (Department of Employment and Workplace Relations).

40th Anniversary of the ALRA

Council discussed this year’s significant 40th anniversary of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW).

There will be further details in coming weeks of forthcoming celebrations.

Minister Delegation

Council welcomed discussion with the Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Franklin and Tim Ireland, the Executive Director of Closing the Gap and Voice, Aboriginal Affairs NSW.

Council reiterated its commitment to working with Government on all key targets, in particular Land and Water initiatives (Target 15).

Executive Update

The Executive Update included the appointment of Wes Fernando as Executive Director – Community Outcomes (formerly Network Delivery), following a recruitment process. Wes has been in the ED role in an acting capacity since mid-2021 and has held various Zone roles since 2012.


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.