Reverend Dr Gondarra

Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians

It was with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Rev Dr Gondarra in the Northern Territory and offer our deepest sympathies to his family, community and loved ones.

A Yolŋu man and lawman of his Dhurili clan in north-east Arnhem Land, he was Australia’s first ever Aboriginal Methodist minister.

A trailblazer for justice and better outcomes for his people, he was an incredible leader and advocate for the Yolŋu people, and for truth-telling and treaty.

He instilled an enormous sense of pride in Yolŋu people for their language, law and culture.

A fierce critic of the NT intervention, he believed it was discriminatory and damaging to traditional structures of cultural authority.

Dr Gondarra was the chairman of the Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA) for more than 30 years, tirelessly advocating for the economic equality of his people.

During his time at ALPA, he grew operations by opening more than 25 stores, creating employment opportunities and delivering major community service programs.

His leadership, dignity and compassion leaves behind a legacy of greater economic opportunity for his people in North East Arnhem Land.

For those of us that had the great fortune to know Dr Gondarra, his wisdom meant the world to us.

Dr Gondarra was truly one of a kind.

Vale Dr Gondarra.

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