Gunbalanya elder recognised with Order of Australia

Gunbalanya elder, Timothy Nadjowh has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia for his service to the Indigenous communities of West Arnhem Land and to the visual arts.


Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said it had been an honour to be part of today’s ceremony in Gunbalanya, as Mr Nadjowh embodies the highest ideals of outstanding achievement and service that the Order of Australia confers.


“At the direction of the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, the Honourable John Hardy OAM, Administrator of the Northern Territory, today invested Mr Nadjowh with the Australian Honour,” the Minister said.


“Mr Nadjowh’s contribution to indigenous affairs since the late 1960’s, specifically his role in facilitating the establishment of outstations which have enabled Indigenous people to live on country in West Arnhem Land, makes him a worthy recipient of this award.


“As founder of Gumarrirnbang and Goomadeer Outstations, Mr Nadjowh travelled long distances to deliver essential items such as food to residents of the area.”


Goomadeer Outstation was the first decentralised Indigenous community in the West Arnhem Region and has been running since the late 1960s.


During that time, Mr Nadjowh worked closely with the late Mr Alfred Wilson OAM, in the construction of airstrips throughout Arnhem Land, to ensure access to these remote areas.


“Exceptional individuals like Mr Nadjowh have been an integral part of delivering practical change on the ground for indigenous people throughout Arnhem Land- an approach that mirrors the Government’s commitment to provide better outcomes for First Australians,” Minister Scullion said.


From the 1950s to 1980s, Mr Nadjowh also assisted church missionary societies in Oenpelli and Goomadeer Reserves, working as a point of contact between Indigenous people and missionary workers.


In addition, Mr Nadjowh has been an accomplished and renowned artist for many years.


15 May 2015.