20 November 2017
Anindilyakwa people take hold of future

THE Anindilyakwa people will be owners of their own mine, the ALC’s chair has told a national forum.

“We will not just be passive royalty recipients from outside parties mining on our lands,” Tony Wurramarrba said at the 8th Indigenous Economic Development Forum.

He said the Anindilyakwa people had traded internationally for more than 400 years until the colonists stopped it at the turn of the last century.

“Our future is going back to this exchange,” Tony said.

“As an island we must do business with the outside world. My father taught me that to survive we need to work with the outside world.”

He told the forum that his people had come out of a century of disempowerment and were now taking their future into their own hands.

In November 2016, Tony was the only Aboriginal to travel to China as part of the Chief Minister’s largest ever trade delegation.

The ALC has since been negotiating partnerships with China for aquaculture, renewable energy, tourism and mining.

“This has been the start of a very exciting exchange for our people,” Tony said.

“Personally it seems like I am just doing what my ancestors have done before me.”

PHOTO: ALC chair Tony Wurramarrba