New faces for Australia’s only all-Aboriginal landscape board

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New faces for Australia’s only all-Aboriginal landscape board

Australia’s only all-Aboriginal landscape board, the Alinytjara Wiluṟara (AW) Landscape Board, is welcoming four new members and a new Presiding Member, following an announcement of appointments by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, the Honourable Susan Close MP.

“South Australia’s landscape boards are vital in helping manage and protect our productive and natural landscapes,” Minister Close said. “I welcome new members and existing members who have shown a genuine commitment to landscape management in their respective regions. I would also like to thank outgoing members for their valuable contributions and wish them well for the future.”

Covering more than 250,000km2 in the north-west third of the state, the AW region stretches from the Northern Territory and Western Australian border to the Great Australian Bight. This vast region is predominantly dedicated to conservation and traditional Aboriginal use and occupation.

Longstanding board member Michael (Mick) Haynes has been appointed Presiding Member (PM) as the previous PM Parry Agius, has stepped down from the role and the board. Mick served as the PM of the (then-NRM) board in 2019 and has a strong history of governance, including Acting Deputy State Manager and Ceduna Regional Manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission between 1986 and 1997 and later as CEO of Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation.

New members joining the board are Jeremy Le Bois representing the Oak Valley/Maralinga Tjarutja Lands, Julieanne Campbell representing the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, and Peter Burgoyne and Wanda Miller representing the Far West Coast region.

Through connection to Country and the people of the AW region, each new member brings with them in-depth insight into their lands and the views of the people living there.

Mr Le Bois has been Chair of the Maralinga Tjarutja Board since 2015, the Maralinga Piling Trust board since 2018 and, was Chair of the Mumangari Conservation Park Board (2019 – 2021) which is responsible for park management including cultural heritage.

Ms Campbell was previously a member of the APY Lands Executive Board and the Mimili Council. She has lived in Adelaide and on the lands and has many close connections to the people and culture of her region.

Amongst an impressive array of educational qualification Mr Burgoyne holds a Masters’ degree in Aboriginal Affairs. His many years of experience as Chief Executive Officer of the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Community Council, combined with the insight gained as a member of various boards and committees related to Aboriginal health and care of Country will undoubtably prove valuable in supporting the AW Landscape Board to achieve its aims.

Ms Miller is a highly regarded Elder from the Far West Coast and has been active in land management and the recognition of cultural heritage all her life. She has been a member of many boards and committees including amongst others the Far West Heritage and Park Management Consultative Committee and Wangka Wiluṟara Regional Council (ATSIC) and was the Chair of the Yumbarra Co-Management Board for over five years.

The newly appointed Presiding Member Mr Mick Haynes said, “It is an honour to be appointed as the Presiding Member of the Alinytjara Wiluṟara Landscape Board.

“I look forward to continuing working with board and to furthering the exceptional achievements made under the leadership of our former Presiding Member, Mr Parry Agius. His progressive thinking, understanding of the mechanisms of government, the private sector and of the people of the AW were instrumental in achieving many tangible outcomes benefitting the land and people of the AW region. I wish Parry all the very best in his new role with the State Government.

“The keystone of the board’s success to date is collaboration. This will continue as we explore new opportunities, maintain strong governance, and be inclusive in service delivery with communities within the sphere of our responsibilities.”

The new members join continuing board members Debbie Hansen (Oak Valley/Maralinga Tjarutja Lands), Julie O’Toole (Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara), Peter Miller (Far West Coast), Duane Edwards (Yalata), and another new face from the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, Tapaya Edwards, who joined the board in late 2022.

“The South Australian Government’s refreshed approach to membership of landscape boards means we feel confident that the newly appointed members will give us stronger representation from all Land Holding Authorities and Indigenous Protected Areas in the AW region,” said AW’s General Manager Kim Krebs.

“Our region will benefit from new eyes and enquiring minds at a time where we need to review the progress of our strategic plan and to negotiate with the Australian Government for the next five years of national landcare program funding.”

The new board will meet for the first time in Ceduna in late February.

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