Mandaka 'Djami' Marika, Managing Director Employee since 1993
"My name is 'Djami' Marika and I am a senior member of the Rirratjingu clan and a son of Roy Dadanga Marika... My country is Yalagbara Guluruga and Yirrkala Rangi (beach) Nuwul or Gamarrwa. I started working for Dhimurru in the Year 1993. I have completed a Land Management course at the Batchelor Institute. I started as a ranger and then worked my way up to become a senior ranger of operations, then the cultural advisor and now I am the Director of Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation."
As Director, Djami represents the traditional owners of the Miwatj Region in NE Arnhem Land locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Director has overall responsibility for the staff and operations of Dhimurru and ensuring that members and the committee are fully informed about Dhimurru's activities. Djami is proud to be part of Dhimurru and the role that his father had in setting the vision for the organisation. Djami is a strong advocate of Dhimurru's bukmak approach - everyone working together.
"I love my job because of the inspiration of my father I want to continue to fulfill the vision statement of Dhimurru. To keep strong looking after both Yirritja and Dhuwa land."
Christine Burke, Executive Officer Employee since 2018
Christine commenced work with Dhimurru as Executive Officer in February 2018. Christine has a range of skills developed as a result of many years working in various positions overseas and in Australia. She has worked primarily in regional and remote areas.
Before joining Dhimurru, Christine worked as an Australian Volunteer in Timor Leste as an Organisational Mentor for about two and a half years. Prior to leaving Australia she was the Park Manager at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia for five years. As Park Manager of a jointly managed park, she worked closely with the Board to implement strategic directions as determined by the Board and over saw day to day operations of the Park.
Christine studied Australian Aboriginal Archaeology at University of New England achieving a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree, before moving into other roles in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Africa and Fiji.
Christine has worked in both state and federal government, including in the Queensland Government where she was the Regional Manager, Cultural Heritage in the Environmental Protection Agency before moving across to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, as District Manager of Longreach District.
Whilst employed by the Australian Government Christine worked with Australia’s aid agency formerly known as AusAid before moving across to the Caring for our Country program in the Community Capacity Building Team working with the regionally based Facilitator Network.
Jonathan Wearne, Ranger Facilitator Employee since 2013
Jonathan grew up in Yirrkala, a Yolngu community in the Dhimurru IPA. Prior to joining Dhimurru, he worked in Victoria as a project manager for a Catchment Management Authority and as a forest planner and senior officer in the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. He has an Honours Degree in Forest Science and a PhD from Melbourne University.
In 2013 Jonathan jumped at the opportunity to return home to Yolngu country and people and take up the newly created position of Learning on Country Coordinator. The Learning on Country partnership between Yirrkala School and Dhimurru was established to enrich Yolngu student’s education by connecting their formal secondary studies to the expertise of Yolngu Rangers and elders.
Along with the former Senior Cultural Advisor, Djalinda Yunupingu, Jonathan has been responsible for the consultation, planning, and delivery of numerous Yolngu-directed teaching and learning events called galtha rom workshops. Yolngu experts and rangers provide on country instruction through language, story, ceremony and art at these workshops. Galtha rom is a tried and true method of ‘both-ways’ teaching and learning pioneered in the Yirrkala School. Jonathan also finds time to coordinate the training and professional development of Dhimurru staff.
Paul Augustin, Project Facilitator Employee since 2009
Ten years ago before coming to Dhimurru, Paul was with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service for three years, the most recent time of which he was stationed in the Bunya Mountains. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree specialised in Protected Area Management, but had never applied that to Indigenous Protected Areas, until beginning his employment with Dhimurru.
Paul has many roles within Dhimurru, but his main role is to mentor and support the Dhimurru rangers, to achieve their aspirations in natural and cultural resource management. He also implements projects that reduce visitor impacts on the Dhimurru designated recreation areas, access track management, fleet management, crocodile management and Workplace Health and Safety to name a few. Paul has been culturally adopted into the Rirratjingu Clan and his skin name is Wamut. ‘’After all this time living and working in East Arnhem Land I am still amazed at how strong and resilient Yolngu people are. I am very grateful and privileged to be a part of supporting rangers and Traditional Owners to protect their land and sea, as laid down by past elders in the form of the Dhimurru vision statement. My Yolngu family teach me valuable cultural life lessons every day, that I share with my ngapaki family and friends all the time when out on country.”
Luke Playford, Sea Country Facilitator Employee since 2015
Luke has been working in the position of Sea Country Facilitator since February 2016. The most rewarding part of the job for Luke is working alongside the Rangers on country. He enjoys learning traditional knowledge from the Rangers, and teaching them what he has learned about contemporary land and sea management practices and other practical skills. Luke values the fun and teamwork enjoyed when working as a group on country, and is strongly driven by achieving positive outcomes in land and sea management.
Luke is grateful to have this position, and is enjoying the Sea Country focus after having a predominantly land management focus for many years. He feels it is an exciting time to be working on sea country with Dhimurru as there are many new projects and partnerships emerging, as well as a stronger focus on fisheries compliance activities.
The main projects Luke is responsible for are:
Marine debris and ghost net management along our coastline
Sea patrols and Fisheries Compliance activities.
Tern surveys at Yilipa (Higginson Island)
Sea Temperature monitoring program
Sea grass monitoring and mapping
Visitor area management
In his leisure time Luke enjoys much of what the Nhulunbuy lifestyle has to offer. Fishing and camping with his family and friends are always favourites. He is a keen gardener and always has many projects on the go. Luke and his family love to travel and explore Australia and the world, especially if there are some good diving sites involved! Previously Luke was employed as a Park Ranger with NT Parks and Wildlife Commission. He worked in several locations including Litchfield and Judbarra/Gregory National Parks. In 2009 Luke moved to North East Arnhem Land where he worked with Yirralka Rangers for three years. The area and its people had such a strong influence on Luke and his family that they were drawn back here after moving to Townsville in North Queensland for a few years.
Ian Hutton, Learning on Country Coordinator Employee since 2019
Ian commenced work with Dhimurru as the Learning on Country (LoC) Coordinator in April 2019. The LoC program and the partnership between Yirrkala School and Dhimurru rangers has been operating for seven years.
Having previously worked for three years as the LoC Coordinator for the partnership between Yirrkala Homelands School and Yirralka rangers, and for over a decade as an Indigenous tourism trainer, Ian is no stranger to the region. He trained Indigenous and non-Indigenous adults and children in remote and urban settings, while employed by private training organisations and Charles Darwin University.
Developing Indigenous training programs with the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) enabled Ian to broaden his knowledge of Indigenous Rangers’ diverse work programs. He enjoyed the opportunity to visit and learn about the rangers in Cape York ,Queensland, across the Northern Territory, and in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He also worked extensively across the Top End as a tour/field guide and operated his own tourism business. As the LoC Coordinator Ian enjoys working closely and collaboratively with wänga waṯaŋu (landowners), teachers, cultural advisors, Yolŋu rangers and community elders to deliver a culturally engaging LoC program. In this role Ian hopes to gain a greater understanding of Yolŋu worldview. He is committed to Dhimurru’s vision and looks forward to his involvement in strengthening Dhimurru’s staff training and development.
Maureen Neil, Business Services Manager Employee since 2015
Maureen is Dhimurru’s Business Services Manager and commenced work with Dhimurru in December, 2015. She has long history in East Arnhem, arriving in January 1973. Aside from attending school with some of our Elders of today, she was a business owner in Nhulunbuy for many years. Following this period, she completed her Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and now manages the finances of Dhimurru.
“I have a long-term commitment to East Arnhem Land and feel very privileged to have been able to serve the Yolngu people. This region is rich in culture and beauty. Dhimurru is a wonderful place to work and for that I thank the Yolngu people,”
Rrawun Maymuru, Senior Cultural Advisor Employee since 2018
Rrawun Maymuru is a proud Mangalili man with his homeland at Djarrakpi. He joined Dhimurru as a ranger in 2018 and took on the role of Senior Cultural Advisor in early 2019, following in the footsteps of Djalinda Yunupiŋu.
In the early 1990s Rrawun did work experience with Dhimurru, while a student at Yirrkala School. Impressed by the vision Dhimurru had for the future he knew that one day he would return to work there.
Always interested in his culture and the land, Rrawun has been greatly influenced by his grandfather, Roy Marika. Inspired by his grandfather, Rrawun has become a teacher, cultural advisor and leader of his clan. He has a great love and knowledge for the land on which he walks and understands the importance of sharing this with the next generation.
Rrawun brings a wealth of cultural knowledge and experience to his new position and is committed to sustaining both-ways learning—and both-ways working—in Dhimurru. He recently participated in his first Learning on Country (LoC) galtha rom. He enjoyed the opportunity to pass on his cultural knowledge to the students of Yirrkala school. Rrawun is looking forward to working with the Learning on Country program.
Rrawun previously worked for Laynhapuy Homelands as a training officer and with MEP as a coordinator. With his cultural knowledge and love of the land he has been employed with Lirrwi Tourism and is also a tour operator and cultural advisor with Bawaka Cultural Experiences, a family venture. A talented musician, Rrawun is lead singer and songwriter with world-renowned band East Journey. This talent has given him the opportunity to travel to many communities, towns and cities around Australia and overseas including to Vanuatu in the South Pacific and Los Angeles—a very different lifestyle when compared to living in Yirrkala.
Grace Wunungmurra, Senior Ranger Employee since 2013
"Hello, my name is Grace. I was born in Cairns where I lived until I was 17 then I moved back to my own country in 2012. In 2012 I participated in the Rio Tinto Alcan RALPA Program and then started working for Dhimurru in January 2013. I really enjoy going out on country and doing the nursery djama (work).
Gathapura Mununggurr, Senior Ranger Employee since 2008
"My Name is Gathapura Mununggurr and I work at Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. My role is Senior Ranger."
Rangers are involved in many projects such as Turtle tracking and monitoring, Sea Grass Mapping, Ghost net patrols and marine debris clean-ups.
"I like working as a ranger because I like being connected to culture and song line, and looking after our country and sea. The most interesting job is the helicopter survey because we fly in sky.''
Wulwat (Eddie) Marika, Ranger Employee since 2013
Wulwat is a local Yolngu man and belongs to the Rirratjingu clan with his homelands located south of Nhulunbuy, along the coast at Gulurunga (Port Bradshaw). Before Wulwat started with Dhimurru in late 2013, he worked at Nuwul Nursery at Yirrkala, planting and landscaping, as well as teaching students about native plants. Preserving, maintaining, and looking after country is the main aim for Wulwat’s role as a Ranger at Dhimurru. This he achieves through a variety of recreational area maintenance djama (jobs), with a special preference for the sea country djama, such as marine debris, ghost net recovery, and monitoring sea life like dolphins and turtles.
“Cleaning up the environment is important for the future, for my kids”.
Wulwat enjoys the training opportunities available to him at Dhimurru and values the support and encouragement in furthering his education and skills. He is currently working towards his Certificate II in Conversation Land Management. Once that is complete, his goal is to obtain his Certificate III and would also like to gain skills in welding, and work towards his skid steer and forklift licences. Dhimurru means “family” to Wulwat - he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father, the current Managing Director, and to pass on his knowledge to the next generation, who already enjoy working with him on their school holidays. Wulwat’s vision for the future is to stay at Dhimurru long-term, and work his way up to Senior Ranger next.
Hamish Gondarra, Ranger Employee since 2014
Hamish belongs to the Golumala clan and grew up on his country at Barrkia, north of Melville Bay. He started with Dhimurru in mid 2014. Prior to this, Hamish was a Ranger with Yirralka working out on the Layhapuy homelands. Hamish’s position as a Ranger at Dhimurru involves a wide range of tasks, including permit checks, general recreation area maintenance, vegetation rehabilitation djama, and marine debris clean-ups.
During his time at Dhimurru, Hamish has obtained certifications and received training in Coastal Fire Fighting – Elements of Shipboard Safety, Certificate II Coxswain, Senior First Aid, and Certificate II in Conservation Land Management. He is currently studying towards his Certificate III in Conservation Land Management and would like to obtain Heavy Rigid, skid steer, fork lift, and firearms licenses in due course.
Hamish values his role at Dhimurru as it allows him to gain knowledge from his elders and a better understanding on how to care for both land and sea.
“It’s exciting work, being on country and learning everyday”.
Hamish aspires to be a strong role model in his community and sees the importance in the work that Dhimurru does in planning for the future, making sure that “this land is here for generations to come”.
Waŋgawuy Mununggurritj, Ranger Employee since 2017
‘My dream djama (work)’—that is Waŋgawuy’s description of her position as Ranger with Dhimurru. Dhimurru is like family to Waŋgawuy. Her grandfather was one of the founders of and her father was a director on the board.
Waŋgawuy started with Dhimurru in 2009 working with Lisa Roeger, Wendy and Daylulu Marika. After four years she took a career change and worked with Anglicare as a disability carer, however it became clear that Dhimurru was where she really belonged and in 2017 she returned, taking on the role of Ranger. She said, ‘it’s where I want to be and I enjoy coming to work every day’.
Waŋgawuy’s passion for the work is evident in her reliability and consistent attendance and in 2018 she was awarded the inaugural Dhimurru Annual Attendance Award. She also won the monthly staff award in both August 2018 and January 2019. These awards recognised Waŋgawuy as a steady, reliable, hard worker who is always willing to take on any challenge asked of her. Waŋgawuy displayed leadership qualities on the ranger exchange to Crocodile Islands and is very supportive of her fellow rangers in their tasks.
She also enjoys the learning and sharing of knowledge offered by the Learning on Country program, especially with children. Her own education is important and in May, Waŋgawuy graduated with a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management at a ceremony held at Yirrkala. Away from Dhimurru Waŋgawuy is a mother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys playing with her grandchildren, visiting her homeland at Garrthalala to camp and hunt with her family.
Guruguru Hick, Ranger Employee since 2018
Yamalirri Marawilli, Ranger Employee since 2018
Georgina Gellett, Ranger Employee since 2018
Warning: This website may contain references to Yolngu people who have passed away. Every effort has been made to ensure that images portraying recently deceased Yolngu people have been removed.
Contact: 11 Arnhem Road, Nhulunbuy, NT 0880 (9.30am–1pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) Postal address: PO Box 1551 Nhulunbuy NT 0881 Email:email@example.comPhone: 08 8939 2700