It been four years since I returned to the Jawoyn Association board, and the eve of our Annual General Meeting offers an important opportunity to reflect on the major achievements we have made during this time.

The Jawoyn Association has come a long way in four years, and we’re now in a much better position with a bright future to look forward to. The board and I have worked very hard time to rebuild our strong foundation.

Following an unsettling period of mismanagement that was troubling for many of our members, we have turned the problems around and achieved many good things to fulfil our elders vision.

We again have financial stability. We’ve implemented policies and procedures, expanded our business, developed new businesses and added more compliance and integrity to the association.

There are many achievements we can name, but here are just a few:

We successfully recruited a new Jawoyn CEO, and purchased and relocated into new headquarters, giving our Rangers and staff better facilities to carry out the important work they do.

We heralded a new era for Nitmiluk Tours, when Jane Runyu-Fordimail stepped into the role of CEO, making it the first time a Jawoyn person has run our tour operations. We also returned Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge back to 100 % Jawoyn ownership.

This period also saw a growing partnership with the Northern Territory Government. We negotiated $10m funding boost for Nitmiluk National Park, including the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the park and signed a groundbreaking agreement for Jawoyn Rangers to manage fire in Nitmiluk National Park, making it the first-ever agreement in Australia for an Indigenous ranger group to manage fire in a national park.

Our board has brought a new era of stability and integrity in and among Jawoyn people.

As chairperson, I want to take the opportunity to thank each of the directors for serving our members well and representing the best interests of Jawoyn people and Jawoyn country.

I hope to continue to serve as the chair with the board, so we can continue to carry out the wishes and dreams of our elders to build a strong future for our people.

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