Proper Representation for the Oriners-Sefton Leasehold Country

Oct 10, 2022

Last month, the first meeting of the Oriners-Sefton Advisory Committee took place at the Kowanyama Lands Office.

The OSEF Advisory Committee were happy to get a range of ideas and issues up on the whiteboard at their first meeting. L-R: Tim Malachi, Craig Goggleye, Darby Horace, Gloria David, Clarita Frank, and Committee Chair, Mayor Robbie Sands.

Almost a year in the making, the Committee is hosted by Council to formally engage the people who are traditionally from that Country.

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Robbie Sands said, “The Community Council purchased the Oriners-Sefton pastoral lease back in 1990, but Native Title has never been determined on those lands, so there is no corporation to represent Traditional Owners.”

“Council decided to set up this Advisory Committee so we can get cultural guidance when we need it,” Mayor Sands continued. “We also want to help the people from that Country to manage the land properly, and work towards a cooperative vision for cattle, carbon, tourism and other activities.”

Council Officers gathered recommendations from the Community on who should be in the Committee, and how it should function. “Our Council wants to involve Traditional Owners, and to ensure there is always communication and transparency around the decisions we make,” Mayor Sands said.

Officially named the OSEF A/C (or Oriners-Sefton Advisory Committee), it has Terms of Reference that comply with the Local Government Act 2009. The Committee can have up to 12 members who are nominated and selected by the Committee to ensure that the right families, as well as a diverse range of Community Members are represented.

Senior leader Tim Malachi said, “We’re happy to be sitting together and talking about the future of our Country. This Committee can’t tell Council what to do, but we can give them good advice.”

The first meeting saw the Committee discuss a range of issues, most notably, the need for Council to adopt an Oriners-Sefton Access Policy.

The inaugural members of the OSEF A/C are Tim Malachi, Craig Goggleye, Michael Yam, Charlotte Yam, Stafford Yam, Clarita Frank, Marcus Yam, Gloria David, Rex Flower, Basil Barr, Shirley Yam, and Teddy Bernard.