Residents of each of West Arnhem Regional Council’s four wards elect three representative councillors at general elections. At the first available meeting of Council following a general election, the councillors appoint a Mayor and Deputy Mayor. These elected representatives sit as the West Arnhem Regional Council on a monthly basis at the head office in Jabiru.
Twelve councillors were elected at the local government general elections held in 2012.
Vacancies are filled as necessary through by-elections as listed on the Northern Territory Electoral Commission website.
The 2017 Local Government General Election will be held on Saturday, August 26. If you are interested in becoming a councillor, candidate packs are available at all West Arnhem Regional Council offices. You can also update your enrolment details by calling into your local council office. Or for more information visit the Northern Territory Electoral Commission website.
See the Election Timetable.
To read more about each councillor, click on their picture below.
This position is currently vacant
Cr Alex Siebert has been a Gunbalanya resident for more than 30 years. Born in the idyllic town of Linz in Germany, he moved to Australia with his family at the age of 13.
He attended high school in South Western Sydney before moving to Darwin on the 20 April 1970. The fact that Alex notes the exact day comes as no surprise to those who have the pleasure of knowing him well.
Before becoming the Manager of the Gunbalanya Sports and Social Club, Alex drove road trains and began raising a family. His children have all since flown the coop, adding 11 grandchildren to his growing brood.
Cr Alex Siebert works tirelessly at Council, standing by his word to help build better futures for community members across the West Arnhem region. He always takes the time to acknowledge the hard work of his fellow Councillors and Regional Council staff.
Cr Davison Nawirridj is West Arnhem Regional Council’s longest-serving member.
Better known as Davo to the people of West and East Arnhem Land communities, he attended an old Oenpelli Mission School before making his way up to the big smoke of Darwin, attending Kormilda College Boarding School in 1975.
During his years in Darwin, Davo played Australian Rules football with the mighty yellow and blue, the Mak Mak Wanderers Eagles Football Club, where he was a Vice Captain at Under-16 level for two seasons.
In the 1980s, Davo returned to his home town of Gunbalanya and took up a role as a Community Liaison Health Worker with the NT Medical Health Service. He was an energetic in his role and loved helping his fellow countrymen with immunisation and healthy lifestyle practices.
In Gunbalanya, Davo met his beloved wife in Elizabeth Rami, who changed her surname to Nawirridj when they had their first child. After working for decades at Gunbalanya Clinic, Davo moved to another role at Community Council as Department of Social Security agent where he worked for around 15 years.
Davo was also a council member for old Kunbarllanjnja Community Council, on which he served from 1995, when it was established by the Department of Local Government, until 2008. In 2012 Davo was re-elected to West Arnhem Regional Council as a Councillor for Gunbalanya Ward.
Cr Davison Nawirridj encourages young school leavers to take up positions at Council so they can become active role models in their community. He also believes it is important to be involved in culture and ceremony.
Mayor James Marrawal was born and grew up at Warruwi and attended the local community school before he was old enough to move to Darwin for secondary studies at Kormilda College and later Darwin High School.
After leaving school he attended Batchelor Institute to further his education, and gained numerous certificates in the area of health.
James was employed for several years as area health worker before taking on his current role as a Senior Ranger, supervising several rangers in the West Arnhem region.
James is married with three children – two girls and a boy – and four grandchildren.
A traditional owner for Wunyu Country, also known as Sandy Creek, James is a respected leader for the people of Warruwi.
As a young person, he was well-known in the community for his athletic ability on the footy field, with the potential to play representative footy at the highest level.
As Mayor for West Arnhem Regional Council, Cr James Marrawal’s focus and commitment ensures the Council delivers quality services, promotes healthy lifestyles, and creates career paths and long-term employment for Indigenous people.
A staunch representative of her community, Cr Daisy Yarmirr was born and raised on the Croker Island community of Minjilang.
She is dedicated to improving the health and education of the Indigenous people of West Arnhem.
Raised speaking both English and Margu, Daisy attended Mamaruni School on Croker Island alongside members of the Stolen Generation, who had been moved to the island from their homelands in line with government policy at the time.
From 1965, Daisy worked at the Minjilang Health Clinic and graduated as a qualified midwife in Katherine.
Rather than going to Darwin to pursue studies to further her career, Daisy chose to stay on Croker Island, where she is a Traditional Owner, to be close to her people and her family.
She was elected Chairperson of the Minjilang Community Council before it was incorporated into West Arnhem Shire Council in 2008.
Following the passing of her sister, Cr Mary Yarmirr, Daisy was elected unopposed as Barrah Ward Councillor in October 2013.
In her role as Councillor with West Arnhem Regional Council, Cr Daisy Yarmirr represents all people of Croker Island, regardless of their clan or language group, and remains a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights.
Well-known in Minjilang, Cr Captain Brown was born at nearby Cape Don, attending the local school in Minjilang before travelling to Kormilda College in Darwin to complete his secondary education.
Along with his partner of more than 26 years, Jessie, he believes family is a main priority.
Together he and Jessie have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Captain has served as a Councillor for West Arnhem Regional Council Barrah Ward since he was elected unopposed in a by-election in March 2015. He was an elected member of the former Minjilang Community Council.
A firm advocate of education, he believes a bi-lingual approach to early years’ schooling will help safeguard children’s heritage and culture into the future.
Cr Captain Brown takes an active interest in Council matters, especially those that impact upon the people of Warruwi and Minjilang.
Councillor Elizabeth Williams has already demonstrated a 17 year commitment to Jabiru and the region, and brings an abundance of knowledge, proficiency and enthusiasm to Council and to the constituents of Kakadu Ward.
She has a very strong connection to the region, having been born in Darwin and has lived periodically in Minjilang on Croker Island. Elizabeth cites her passion for education, health and housing in the communities of West Arnhem.
With five children and 11 grandchildren, she is very family-orientated and enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends when she is not working at Charles Darwin University as the Centre Administrator.
With her experience in supporting students through their studies, Elizabeth believes education, training and supporting youth is key as well as creating a safe, happy place to grow up in.
Like her fellow councillors, she is passionate about the region and wants to achieve the best for the community.
Elizabeth is proud to call Jabiru home and plans to remain in the region for as long as she can with her family.
Councillor Williams is a member of the Kakadu Deadly Runners and also enjoys dancing, travelling and learning new things.
A Jabiru resident since 2010, Cr Anna Egerton provides a voice on Council for the people in her community.
A keen listener, Anna acts on matters she hears about from residents, no matter how big or small.
Born and raised in Darwin, Anna gained valuable experience in her 20s when she worked for several years at management level in hospitality on islands along Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.
Educated at Holy Spirit Primary School, Darwin High School and O’Loughlin College in Darwin, Anna is very much a Territorian, and returned here in 2008.
With her caring nature and love of helping people, Anna has aspirations to study nursing, but says her studies can wait while she raises her family.
With her husband Forrest Egerton, Anna has two young children, Gabrielle and Nicholas – and plans to add to her family in the near future. Anna loves exercising, spending time with her children, and is an active supporter of Jabiru Playgroup.
As an elected member of Council, Cr Anna Egerton is working to help build a long-term, sustainable future for Jabiru in the years following closure of the Ranger Mine.
A well-known and respected figure at the Jabiru Health Clinic, Cr Michelle Siebert worked her way up from a receptionist to Aboriginal Community Worker while raising her three boys. Her two eldest, Cody and Julian, are employed, while her youngest son Jamie is a volunteer with the Jabiru Fire Station.
Michelle was schooled at the Holy Family Catholic Primary School and Sanderson High School in Darwin, and it was during this time, in 1982, that she moved to Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) with her parents Margie and Lothar and siblings Lisa, Daniel and Angie.
In 1998 she relocated to Jabiru with her husband Tony, who took up a role at the Ranger Mine. Michelle greatly values the spirit and camaraderie of the close-knit community she calls home. Her position as councillor for Kakadu Ward is her first role in local government, and she is an active representative for the region, keeping her eyes and ears open to community issues.
She enjoys camping at Sandy Creek and shares her family’s passion for fishing, hunting and pigging at Gunbalanya.
Cr Michelle Siebert has blood ties across the West Arnhem region and her evaluations are relied upon and trusted by her fellow councillors.
A community leader in Maningrida for more than a decade, Cr Matthew Ryan believes in promoting Indigenous rights.
Matthew was born in Royal Darwin Hospital and raised in Maningrida, where he lives with his wife Charlene Bonson and their four children.
After receiving his Primary and Secondary education at Maningrida School, Matthew joined Northern Territory Police, giving many years of service to his community as an Aboriginal Community Police Officer.
Matthew has held the position of Councillor for Maningrida Ward since West Arnhem Regional Council was established, as West Arnhem Shire Council, in 2008.
Prior to the Shire days, Matthew was a Councillor with the Maningrida Council.
He has also served as a Councillor with Northern Land Council since 2004, and is currently Senior Liaison Officer with Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation.
Outside of work Matthew is a keen hunter and fisherman.
Cr Matthew Ryan is the Jongi for Benenbenbi (Stone Country), which is his mother’s and grandfather’s country.
A mother of seven adult children and an active leader in her community, Cr Helen Williams is a firm believer in education.
Born on Goulburn Island, Helen was raised on the island and in Maningrida.
She attended Maningrida School for her Primary education before moving to Darwin to study at Kormilda College, completing Year 12 at Darwin High School.
Returning to Maningrida, Helen began her working career with the Women’s Centre and the Maningrida Progress Association.
She is currently on the Board of the Maningrida Progress Association and Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation, and has served as a Councillor with the former Maningrida Council.
Helen has been a Councillor for Maningrida Ward since West Arnhem Regional Council was established as West Arnhem Shire Council in 2008.
Heavily involved with youth programs in Maningrida, Helen currently works with Maningrida School as an Attendance Officer, helping ensure all children receive a good education.
Cr Helen Williams is the Jowunga for Maningrida and a Traditional Owner for Ndjudda, Kabalko and Namarraya.
This position is currently vacant