Chairperson of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council Stephen Ryan.
NEW SOUTH WALES: The nation’s largest Aboriginal organisation elected its new chairperson today – Wiradjuri man and Councillor for the Central Region Stephen Ryan.
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) held its state-wide elections earlier this month to choose nine representatives for its Governing Council.
Today they elected their leaders – with Stephen Ryan elected to the chairperson’s role and Craig Cromelin elected as deputy chairperson.
Chairperson Ryan takes the position following the departure of former chairwoman Bev Manton.
Chairperson Ryan is a former chairman and current member of the Dubbo Local Aboriginal Land Council.
His past employment and appointments cross the breadth of Aboriginal affairs in NSW, including in the areas of family violence prevention, Aboriginal housing, legal and justice services, native title, Aboriginal Culture & Heritage, and land management.
Chairperson Ryan has previously served a four-year term on the Governing Council.
He said he looked forward to guiding NSWALC over the next two years.
“Land rights in NSW is not perfect, but it’s without doubt the best model in the nation,” Chairperson Ryan said.
“I look forward to working closely with my colleagues on the Governing Council, and my brothers and sisters in the NSW Aboriginal land rights network more broadly.”
Craig Cromelin is a Ngiyampaa man and Councillor for the Wiradjuri region. He has also served a four-year term, from 2007-2011.
Deputy Chairperson of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council Craig Cromelin.
Deputy Chairperson Cromelin has held several managerial positions, including Chairperson of the Murrin Bridge Aboriginal Advancement Corporation, the Murrin Bridge LALC and the Wiradjuri Regional Land Council. He’s also one of the brainchilds behind Murrin Bridge Wines, the nation’s first and only Aboriginal winery.
Deputy Chairperson Cromelin said he wanted to work hard to “represent the views and interests of my members of the Wiradjuri region”.
“Land rights in NSW has entered an exciting new era, and I look forward to working as part of a great team to face the many challenges that confront our network,” he said.
NSWALC CEO Geoff Scott said the outcome was a positive step forward for land rights in the state.
“Chairperson Ryan and Deputy Chairperson Cromelin bring to the table a wealth of experience representing the views and interests of Aboriginal people,” Mr Scott said.
“They also both bring a new energy to the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and our organisation has immense confidence in their ability – and that of our new Governing Council.
“We’ve made confident strides over the past four years under the guidance of Bev Manton and former deputy chair Tom Briggs, and I’m certain our next term will be just as industrious for the 20,000-plus Aboriginal members we represent.
“NSWALC quite literally is self-determination in motion. We’re heading in the right direction, with the right people in place to make positive change a tangible reality.”
For more information on the current NSWALC board, please click here.
• Tracker is published by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.