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NSW Aboriginal Land Council election returns local Councillors

Western Plains App

Laura Williams

25 March 2024, 6:40 AM

NSW Aboriginal Land Council election returns local CouncillorsClockwise from top left: Anne Dennis (North Western), Grace Toomey (Central), Leeanne Hampton (Wiradjuri), Ross Hampton (Western).

An election in late February for the NSW Aboriginal Land Council saw all four Councillors from across the Western Plains returned, as they look towards the next term. 

Following the election, the North Western region will continue to be represented by Anne Dennis, Western by Ross Hampton, Wiradjuri by Leeanne Hampton and the Central region by Grace Toomey, who ran unopposed. 

Walgett-based Councillor Anne Dennis said it was an honour to be re-elected, having already been Councillor for the past 12 years, with much to be done in the upcoming term.

“In all the issues that the community deals with, we want to build those partnerships through Local Aboriginal Land Councils,” Cr Dennis said. 

“If you look at health issues or mental health issues, how do we provide that wraparound support?”

“There’s also a lot of housing issues, there’s overcrowding, the shortage of housing and shortage of skilled people…there’s a real opportunity for our young people to get the skills if we work with TAFE and registered training organisations,” Cr Dennis said. 

While Cr Dennis is working towards creating a greater voice for the North Western region, she said that a lot of towns are going unheard for too long. 

“In Goodooga, it took 20 years to build a store out there, and that wasn’t until covid when people weren’t allowed to travel so there was a food security issue.”

“It’s a matter of how we build that resilience to become autonomous and independent and be able to have those jobs and communities because it’s critical to basic human rights and people’s needs.”

NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen said that the upcoming term will be a critical time in Land Rights history in NSW. 

“NSWALC elections are fundamental to the principles of self-determination and community empowerment,’’ Mr Deen said.

“The Network has never been in a better position to generate ongoing benefits from land acquisition and activation for Local Aboriginal Land Councils and Aboriginal communities.’’ 

The Council term is four years.