Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Eligible Indigenous voters will go to the polls next weekend with three candidates on the card, vying to represent the Northern Region in the 2024 NSW Aboriginal Land Council Election.

Nine councillors will be elected across NSW to represent the political, cultural, social and economic interests of Aboriginal communities.

Meet the Candidates for our region

Charles Lynch

Current Councillor, Charles Lynch is completing his second term in the position, in which he describes he very proud and humble to hold and is eager to go again.

“I would like to continue to build on and deliver to LALC’s and community the opportunities that have been developed at a state level with community consultation, which will make real impact in the community, in particular around closing the closing the gap.” said Charles.

“I want to see all LALC’s prosper through economic participation, such as through activating their land to deliver social outcomes around housing, to employment and training, ranger’s programs, tourism, culture and heritage whilst driving self-determination at a regional level as a collective or at a local level delivering true self determination.”

Charles remains committed to the region and the future ahead.

“The next four years I believe will be the most turbulent in land rights history, not just from a political point, ongoing culture and heritage legislative reforms the impact of competing acts, change of governments, the disappointment of the referendum, bringing people together and the ongoing stewardship of the statutory fund will be all be critical.” said Charles.

“A challenge I am looking forward to if given the mandate.”

Dean Foley

Dean Foley, a proud Kamilaroi man and founder of First Nations Charity, Barayamal, has officially announced his candidacy for the Councillor position.

Dean grew up in Gunnedah and wants to use his passion for his community to spark a change of governance.

“I wanted to run ever since I looked into the financials and saw the massive losses in recent years.” said Dean.

Dean aims to rejuvenate outdated policies and bring in new ideas for lasting change. His vision encompasses the following;

  • Promoting sustainable community development
  • Preserving cultural heritage
  • Advocating for the rights and interests of Aboriginal people in the Northern

“We have amazing Aboriginal Lands Councils that do-good work in our community, but they aren’t getting the support they need.”

“I have put my hand up to become a candidate for the northern region because I have seen how bad it is run.”

“The whole system is broken, it is disconnected from the local community and it’s affecting the Aboriginal and wider community too.”

“Poor management means we aren’t running the programs we need to, like youth programs, we are seeing increased crime rates and social problems emerging.”

“If we had those programs maybe the ones getting in trouble might have been led down a different path, but we will never know.”

“There are massive positives such as the opportunities to get more programs into our area, there is so much we can do with youth programs and engaging with other organisations to really help guide, educate and support our people,”

“That’s what I am excited about”

Kelvin Allen

Kelvin is a proud Gomeroi man who grew up in Tamworth and is well known for his commitment to his community.

“I believe I have the experience to be a success in the role as I have 12 years’ experience in the roles of LALC Support Officer and Senior LALC Support Officer, these roles worked directly with the Local Aboriginal Land Councils of the Northern Region in an advisory and regulatory role.”

Kelvin has 10 years of housing experience as Tenancy Manager with Housing NSW and also service at a strategic level on the Board of Homes North for 6 years.

His experience also extends to 6 years on the Board of Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service (TAMS).

As for election promises, this is what he has to say.

“None! From my perspective the last thing I would give is promises to the community.”

“Historically Aboriginal people have been made promises from politicians and governments that raise expectations that generally fall short, so I will not give a “promise” but I can give a commitment and outline the priorities which are:

  • Effective and tangible support for LALCs
  • A collective string advocacy
  • Social and affordable housing
  • Transparency

“In contesting this election, I will ensure that anything posted on my page or said to anyone in person will be based in fact and on the principles I have developed over the years of service to this community.”

Election Details

The election will be held on Saturday 24th Febraury 2024.

Eligible voters can vote in person at polling places across the state or via postal vote.

Who can vote

Aboriginal people over 18 who are voting Members of a LALC and who are enrolled can vote in the 2024 NSWALC Elections.

You may be a Member of more than one LALC but you can only be a voting Member at one LALC.

“The NSWALC and LALCs welcome the ongoing participation of Aboriginal people in NSW in the Land Rights process, and increasing numbers and encouraging future generations is vital to the ongoing success of Land Rights.” said NSW Aboriginal Lands Council CEO, Yuseph Deen.

While it is not compulsory to vote, members are encouraged to have their say on Saturday 24th February.

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