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The Gapuwiyak Lakers were crowned champions of the AFL Cyclone Recovery Football Carnival recently held in Gove, with a convincing four goal win over Gove #2 side Port Power and followed by a heartwarming homecoming celebration.

With generous funding support by the Northern Territory Government, in conjunction with ALPA, Rio Tinto and TIO, East Arnhem Regional Council's Youth Sport and Recreation team worked tirelessly in coordinating the event alongside AFL Northern Territory. With two exciting days of footy and live entertainment, around 170 young men from East Arnhem communities affected earlier this year by Cyclone Nathan and Lam made the trip into Nhulunbuy for a huge weekend of action!

Teams travelled by charter flights and troopies from Milingimbi, Ramingining, Gapuwiyak, Galiwin'ku (two teams), Groote Eylandt and two combined sides from the Gove Peninsula (including Yirrkala & Gunyangara) to compete. In an exciting Grand Final match that had the crowd on their feet, the Gapuwiyak Lakers were a class above, eventual four goal winners over the Gove #2 combined side. 

Lakers young gun Rowan Gaykamangu was named Best on Ground, and Ramingining recognised with a special award given to a team that encompassed the spirit of the game, showed superior sportsmanship, respect for others and overall exceptional conduct on and off the field. Council congratulates Rowan on his performance, and the boys from Ramo for their ouststanding efforts during the weekend.

The homecoming for the Lakers was nothing short of amazing! In what seemed to be every member of the community in attendance to celebrate their arrival home, the community pride was at an all time high. 

With fantastic support from ALPA and Miwatj Employment and Participation (MEP), a community BBQ was coordinated. ALPA provided streamers and ballons which were used to decorate community, cars, and street posts, and the hands of community members were also decorated. The Council's Municipal team along with the MEP buffalo boys took on the cooking duties for the BBQ and once the grill once fired up, there was no stopping it. The team were hard at work for two hours, many a chop, sausage and rissoles were handed out, along with many crates of poppers.

After a celebratory parade through community, the team and trophy flanked by community members, the guys presented the trophy to Gapuwiyak's traditional owners.  The party continued and was certainly a memorable moment for this sports mad community.

The next morning really told the story of a celebration, and we thank the Municipal Crew for their hard work in finishing what they helped build, cleaning the grounds that had well and truly shown that celebration had been held and enjoyed!

This event meant so much to all the teams from East Arnhem that participated and their community. Council acknowledges the NT Government initiative and work AFL Northern Territory and other stakeholders put in conducting it, and congratulates all of our players and officials on their efforts. A special big thank you must go to our Youth Sport and Recreation team and Yirrkala Council staff for all their efforts in ensuring this weekend was a success. For Gapuwiyak this was a victory not to be forgotten any time soon!




After dedicating six incredible years of service to East Arnhem Regional Council, our exceptional Libraries and Children & Family Services Regional Manager Diane Kearney is moving on.

Forever the positive, supportive mentor and manager, Diane's high level of commitment and dedication to the program and her team and community is unrivalled. Her work was more than a job, with Diane bringing an endless supply of energy, enthusiasm and passion to the role. 

Under Diane's guidance and leadership, all of our Council Child Care staff have successfully completed Certificate III and Certificate IV training, with the ongoing successes and achievements of our Child Care and Library Services teams a testiment to the trust and relationships built within the team and importantly families in our communities. 

Diane was also at the helm of iStories, the digital project which has enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Groote Eylandt to capture and preserve stories of times gone past. The project gained national recognition, winning the Active Arts category of the 2013 National Awards for Local Government. She has also been involved in the development and creation of numerous resources and stories including 'We go out Bush' and 'Eat Every Colour' nutrition dvd. 

Everyone at Council wishes Diane the very best for her future. Her work and passion for the role will be remembered for years to come by Council, Staff and our communities. 


Council congratulates Philadelphia Hughes on ATSI Student of the Year

East Arnhem Regional Council congratulates Philadelphia Hughes on winning the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award at this years Northern Territory Training Awards. East Arnhem is a proud sponsor of this award, recognising the outstanding role the awards play in acknowledging the great leaders, learners, teachers and employers in our community.

Philadelphia completed a Certificate IV in Frontline Management through Charles Darwin University and working with Independent Grocers.

Progressing from being a young woman who didn’t finish high school, to one who was awarded Most Outstanding Student in her class, Philadelphia's thirst for further education grew and she is now undertaking a university degree through the NT Public Sector Indigenous Cadetship Support Program. Her certificate studies as giving her the building blocks to build a new future.

Philadelphia has incorporated the communication skills, learned as part of Certificate IV, into her university studies and her personal life, aiming to be a role model for Indigenous students starting on a journey of further education. Her personal motto 'Never stay comfortable, keep striving and stay hungry for knowledge'.