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!


On your marks...set....GOOOOOOOOO in Gapuwiyak

You know how the story goes - one service provider said they were fast, the next said prove it Game On. This now annual Service Provider Relay Race is held every year at the school sports day.

The 2015 race was filled with controversy. Allegations of the Police not swapping the batten at the line ( we have photo evidence to support the accusations), and the MEP buffalo boys trying to run the race with an Olympic torch inspired batten (a buffalo horn with fire in the end) which inevitably resulted in a small fire in their lane which had to extinguished.

Who wins is irrelevant, its all about which team had the most spiritnaturally this was the EARC team - so in essence we won (regardless of official race results placing us second last).

Your EARC 2015 Relay Team was.drumrollChris Too Quick Moylan, James The Wind Wunungumurra, Lightning Raynburr Wanambi, and Off the Mark Dhamarrandji.




Umbakumba Celebrates International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women's Day, our team hosted a day of fun activities and great food in Umbakumba on Groote Eylandt.

Coordinated by our local Council Services Manager and her team, the event was held at Fred Grey Park on the 5th March, with around 40 people attending from the Aged Care, Crèche, FaFT and Children and Family Services groups.

They day was filled with story telling, singing, dancing and of course a lot of socialising! It was great to see local community members of all ages taking part and coming together in celebration and recognition of the exceptional work that women in our communities contribute. 

Everyone involved was treated to an amazing lunch of fish, rice, sweet potato, damper, tea, cake and coconut - collected from the tree on the beach no less! Thank you to everyone involved and those who came out to join us in the celebrations! We have more events planned to continue the recognition of women in our communities to stay tuned!


Masters Games on Groote

Aged Care clients in Angurugu and Umbakumba were treated to something a little different last week, embarking on the inaugural Groote Aged Care Masters Games.

Conducted for the first time, Aged Care clients, their families and carers came together in Angurugu for an afternoon of games and activities. It was croquet, fishing line throwing and damper making for the ladies, and fishing line throwing, decorating and crafting of spears for the men. The elders set out the night before with Ian O'Malley to catch fish and mud-crabs, presented to the team in support of the event.

It was great to see clients, carers and family members enjoying the day, with every client who participated awarded a prize for giving it a go! Croquet on Groote - not something you see everyday!

Senator Nova Paris, indigenous Olympian, also attend the event along with East Arnhem President Banambi Wunungmurra and CEO John Japp. 

With all of the Angurugu Aged Care Clients attending the Masters games, and so many people in the community assisting including helpers from the Youth Sport and Rec team, the local vet, MJD, RJCPand ALC, this truly was a community event.  Staff from the clinic and Police also came along for a visit, with all groups commenting how wonderful it was to see the community interacting and having fun. To hear the laugh of our clients was worthwhile enough!

The Masters Games would not have been possible without funding and support from Northern Territory Government's Seniors Week grant and the Andiliakwa Land Council. Their kind offer to supply food for over 100 people was greatly appreciated and we thank Mark Hewitt and the ALC for their support.

With the event a resounding success, we look forward to seeing it back on the calendar in 2015!

Naidoc Week Celebrations - Council Office Closures

National Aboriginal and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week Celebrations will continue to run this week through to Sunday 13 July. NAIDOC events will be held across Australia, celebrating the culture, history and achievements of Indigenous Australians. This year's NAIDOC theme honours all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have fought in defence of our country. The celebrations will recognise the role they have played in shapping our identity and gives us the chance to pause and reflect on their sacrifice. 

To mark NAIDOC Day celebrations, East Arnhem Regional Council offices will be closed on Friday 11 July and will reopen as per normal hours of operations on Monday 14 July.

Enjoy the celebrations held across the Territory!