Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$1.3 million to preserve Arnhem Land nature and culture

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Member for Lingiari

An Indigenous group rescuing marine turtles and dugong from ‘ghost nets’ in Northern Territory sea waters today received $1.3 million from the Australian Government for a new headquarters.

Dhimurru Land Management Aboriginal Corporation will build its new office complex at Nhulunbuy with the help of the grant announced by Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, and the Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon.

Ms Macklin said the funding, through the Aboriginals Benefit Account, recognised Dhimurru as a leader in land and resource management.

“Dhimurru has been preserving nature and the local Yolgnu culture for the last 16 years in north east Arnhem Land,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Government is very pleased that Rio Tinto Alcan is also making a significant contribution to building the new headquarters.”

The ghost nets project – removing lost and discarded fishing nets threatening marine life like turtles and dugong – is one example of the environmental issues being tackled by Dhimurru.

Dhimurru was established by Yolngu landowners across the Gove Peninsula. It has built up excellent relationships with government agencies and the private sector.

Mr Snowdon said a flow-on benefit from Dhimurru’s success was the employment of 16 local Yolngu people.

“Dhimurru is providing on-the-job training in literacy and numeracy, business administration and Indigenous leadership,” Mr Snowdon said.

“This training develops greater confidence and skills for the staff to represent Yolngu interests.

“The rangers are doing incredibly valuable work out on country and sea, and are community and Yolngu role models.”

Today’s announcement coincides with the official opening of the Yothu Yindi Foundation’s 10th Garma Festival, themed Indigenous Knowledge: caring for culture and country.