Gapuwiyak Lakers crowned champions

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!


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'.

East Arnhem Success at 2014 Territory Tidy Town Awards

East Arnhem Regional Council's committment to improving our waste management processes and environmental policies have been recognised at the 2014 Territory Town Awards in Darwin on Friday.

After a successful outing in 2013, East Arnhem was again rewarded for our work winning the following awards:

  • Energy Conservation Award
  • Water Conservation Award
  • Environmental Innovation Award - Richard Fitowski

Yirrkala Council Services Manager, Richard Fitowski, has spent the past six months researching and encouraging the use of biodegradeable 'Biopak' products in community, including cups, plates, and cutlery, with support of Keep Australia Beautiful NT. The case study is progressing well, with research into the effectiveness and breakdown of the packaging ongoing, and has proved so successful it is now being rolled out in Galwin'ku. Congratulations Richard for your continued work in this initiative.

The small East Arnhem community of Gunyangara was recognised for the second year in a row for their oustanding work in keeping community tidy - awarded the Small Community Award. Accepting the award on behalf of the community, Gunyangara has been busy this year working on all aspects of keeping their town tidy, with special emphasis placed on litter cotrol, resource recovery and importantly, community participation. Gunyangara 'Do The Right Thing' signage has been erected around the community to remind residents of their responsibility in keeping Gunyangara clean.

With the Community surrounded by the ocean, litter making its way in to the water is a major problem, and along with the litter washing in from Indonesia, and deadly ghost nets, the work being undertaken to keep our community clean is essential to improving and maintaining our ocean's health.

Gunyangara's ongoing committment to rubbish removal and conservation is something everyone at East Arnhem is proud of and looks to as a leader. An award thoroughly deserved - congratulations!


Gapuwiyak 2014 National Indigenous Deadly Fun Run Champions

The East Arnhem communities of Galwin'ku and Gapuwiyak recently took part in the Indigenous Marathon Project's Deadly Fun Run Championships in Uluru.

It was an action packed (and freezing!) weekend with 60 Indigenous participants from various communities across Australia competing at the Championships over distances of 3km for Juniors and 5k for Seniors. 

Our teams from Gapuwiyak and Galiwin'ku represented our Region with great pride and were fierce competitors. Let these results speak for themselves:


  • Women's 5km1st & 3rd place
  • Girl's Youth 3km 2nd place


  • Men's 5km1st place
  • Men's Youth 3km1st & 3rd place
  • Girl's Youth 3km1st place

These oustanding performances saw Gapuwiyak crowned the 2014 National Indigenous Deadly Fun Run Overall Community Champions!

Our teams are extremely proud of these results and excited to take home the trophy! Training has already started to ensure we can defend our title at next year's event! A huge thank you to Vanessa, Atnas and Evelyna for their work in preparing our runners for this event. Onwards and upwards.

East Arnhem Cleans Up At Territory Tidy Town Awards

East Arnhem Shire Council was pleased to accept two awards at the recent Territory Tidy Town Awards on behalf of the communities of Umbakumba and Gunyangara, who's residents have worked tirelessly with Council staff to create a cleaner, greener and safer community.

These awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the achievements of rural and regional communities across Australia. This years Northern Territory Awards were held in Alice Springs. East Arnhem saw success in two categories in 2013 - Small Community Award and Energy Conservation Award.

The East Arnhem Community of Umbakumba was the winner of the 'Energy Conservation Award' - further recognition to the oustanding 'Bright Lights, Safe Nights' project initiated and lead by Shire Services Manager, Clayton McCudden and supported by the Umbakumba community. The program aimed to replace all of the existing 75watt lights with 40watt lights, reducing not only operating costs energy consumption. The durability of the lights also means they are being replaced less often with an extended usage life. This program proved so successful, East Arnhem Shire was awarded a grant to expand the program throughout all nine communities.

For more information on the 'Bright Lights, Safe Nights' project.

The Community of Gunyangara has been busy this year working on all aspects of keeping their town tidy and were rewarded with the 'Small Community Award'. Special emphasis has been placed litter cotrol, resource recovery and importantly, community participation. A local nursery, veggie patch, woodwork shop and community story have all been introduced, whilst a partnership with local prisoners has seen them actively involved in litter clean ups. With the Community surrounded by the ocean, litter making its way in to the water is a major problem, and along with the litter washing in from Indonesia, and deadly ghost nets, the work being undertaken by the prisoners is essential to improving and maintaining our ocean's health.

Gunyangara's committment to rubbish removal and conservation is something everyone at East Arnhem is proud of and looks to as a leader. An award thoroughly deserved.

iStories collects Active Arts Award at National Awards for Local Government

East Arnhem Shire Council team collecting their Active Arts Award for iStoriesEast Arnhem Shire Council President Banambi Wunungmurra, and staff members Beryl Lalara, Steve Wurramarra, Yananymul Mununggurr, and Diane Kearney travelled to Canberra for the Awards night held on Sunday 16 June, where they were presented with the Active Arts Award at Parliament House.

April 2013 saw East Arnhem Shire Council recognised amongst eighteen of the nation’s 565 councils and shires in this year’s National Awards for Local Government for the iStories initiative, a project which has enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Groote Eylandt to capture and preserve stories of times gone past. For more information on iStories click here

iStories has been an exceptional project in which the Council partnered with the Anindilyakwa, NT Libraries, and numerous other stakeholders, to ensure the arts and culture of our people is brought to a global audience.

Congratulations to everybody involved in the project.