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Our Councillors

Residents of each of West Arnhem Regional Council’s four wards elect 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 most recent local government general elections held in 2017.

View the map of the West Arnhem Wards.

Vacancies are filled as necessary through by-elections as listed on the Northern Territory Electoral Commission website.

 

To read more about each councillor, click on their picture below.

 

Gunbalanya


  • Cr Otto Dann


  • Cr Karl Srdinsek


  • Cr Davison Nawirridj

Barrah


  • Cr James Marrawal


  • Cr Philip Wasaga

Kakadu


  • Cr Elizabeth Williams


  • Deputy Mayor Anna Egerton


  • Cr Ralph Blyth

Maningrida


  • Mayor Matthew Ryan


  • Cr Helen Williams


  • Cr Valda Bokmakarray


  • Cr Julius Don Kernan

Cr Otto Dann

Bio to come.

Cr Karl Srdinsek

Bio to come.

Cr Davison Nawirridj

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.

Cr James Marrawal

Cr 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.

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.

Cr Philip Wasaga

Bio to come.

Cr Elizabeth Williams

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.

Deputy Mayor Anna Egerton

Cr Anna Egerton was elected as Deputy Mayor at the Local Government General Election in 2017.

A Jabiru resident since 2010, Cr 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.

Cr Ralph Blyth

Bio to come.

Mayor Matthew Ryan

Mayor Matthew Ryan was elected as Mayor at the Local Government General Election in 2017.

A community leader in Maningrida for more than a decade, Mayor 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.

Mayor Matthew Ryan is the Jongi for Benenbenbi (Stone Country), which is his mother’s and grandfather’s country.

Cr Helen Williams

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.

Cr Valda Bokmakarray

Bio to come.

 

Cr Julius Don Kernan

Bio to come.