NLC Chair awarded Honorary Doctorate


The Northern Land Council congratulates Dr Samuel Bush-Blanasi on the awarding of his well-deserved Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa).

This award acknowledges a life-time of hard work and the commitment of Dr Bush-Blanasi to the empowerment and rights of Aboriginal peoples.

Dr Bush-Blanasi grew up in Wugularr (Beswick) community in the Katherine region and is a proud Yolngu man through his mother who was from the Blue Mud Bay region in east Arnhem.

For over three decades, Samuel has been an active member of the Northern Land Council (NLC), serving nine terms including three terms as Deputy Chair. He is currently serving his fourth consecutive term as NLC Chair. Samuel has experience in representational and governance roles.

He was an elected ATSIC representative and founding member of the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA); and more recently was instrumental in the establishment of the Aboriginal Sea Company. In 2022 he was appointed co-Chair of the interim board to establish the Northern Territory Aboriginal Investment Corporation. He is a long-serving board member of the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance, a member of Aboriginal Housing Northern Territory Aboriginal Corporation and a member of the Governing Group of the Aboriginal Peak Organisations Northern Territory.

Dr Bush-Blanasi was awarded his doctorate from Charles Darwin University in a graduation ceremony on 18 May 2023 attended by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow graduates.

“With my role as NLC Chair I walk in both worlds acting on behalf of TO’s as I work with stakeholders and government. This recognition is supported by that traditional authority and it is a privilege to accept this honorary doctorate that acknowledges my place in the two worlds that have contributed to it,” said Dr Bush-Blanasi.

Dr Bush-Blanasi was recognised earlier this year for his commitment to the empowerment of Aboriginal People when he was named 2023 Northern Territory Australian of the Year.

Media please note: when referring to the NLC Chair in future, use of this full title is recommended: Dr Samuel Bush-Blanasi.

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