Managing Director- Mandaka 'Djami' Marika 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."
Senior Cultural Advisor - Djalinda Yunupingu Employee since 2013
Djalinda has a diploma of teaching specialising in Aboriginal schools, and has spent most of her working life in education, including working with Yirrkala Community Education Centre and the Yirrkala Homelands school. More recently Djalinda worked with Miwatj on the 'Yakka Ngarali' (Say No to Cigarettes) campaign.
Djalinda is also registered with the AIS (Aboriginal Interpreter Service) as a Yolngu interpreter and has been called upon to assist with justice system processing, centrelink, and at the police station and has undertaken on the job training assisting her in these roles.
Djalinda plays an active part in the community translating mainly Yolngu to Ngapaki and has previously been an active member on Dhimurru’s Board.
Executive Officer - Christine Burke Employee since 2018
I am taking up the post of Executive Officer at Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, so a little about me by way of introduction. I have moved around quite a bit in my career and worked in many places in Australia, including in remote areas, most states and all territories. I began my career with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Indigenous Australian Archaeology at the University of New England.
I worked as an archaeologist for about 10 years in various locations including Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. During this time I also spent three years in Fiji Museum working as an Australian Volunteer. From a focus on cultural resource management I moved across to natural resource management when I became the Longreach District Manager for Queensland Parks and Wildlife. Through various paths, including working a short time with AusAid (the Australian International Aid program) I ended up working with the Land and Coasts Division in the Australian Government with the facilitator network on the Caring for our Country program. That lead me to the jointly managed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Central Australia. I spent five years there as Park Manager. With the Board of Management and a great team of people I was responsible for implementing the directions of the Board and actions under the Plan of Management.
From Uluru I decided re-join the volunteer ranks and travelled to Timor-Leste where I have spent the last two and a half years working with a community development organisation as an Organisational Mentor. I am looking forward to joining Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation and to working with Dhimurru staff and partners in the future.
Ranger Facilitator - Jonathan Wearne Employee since 2013
Jonathan grew up in Yirrkala, a Yolngu community squarely within the Dhimurru IPA. Prior to taking up his current role at 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.
Jonathan and our Senior Cultural Advisor, Djalinda Yunupingu, have 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.
Project Facilitator - Paul Augustin Employee since 2009
Before coming to Dhimurru, Paul was with QLD Parks and Wildlife for three years, the most recent time of which he was stationed in the Bunya Mountains. He has a Bachelor in Protected Area Management but had never applied that to Indigenous Protected Areas until beginning his employment with Dhimurru.
Paul's role involves implementing projects with help from the Rangers that, reduce visitor impacts on the Dhimurru Designated Recreation Areas and help the Yolngu people look after their land.
"I love it here, the people are really friendly and I love the fishing. I'm enjoying learning one of Australia's true cultures, the kinship, the language; Yolngu Matha, and about the local plants and animals."
Sea Country Facilitator - Luke Playford Employee since 2015
Business Services Manager - Maureen Neil 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,”
Senior Ranger - Grace Wunungmurra 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 is 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."
Senior Ranger - Gathapura Mununggurr Employee since 2008
"My Name is Gathapura Mununggurr and I work at Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation. My role is a 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.''
Senior Ranger - Terence Wunungmurra
Ranger - Eddie Marika 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.
Ranger - Rakrakpuy Marika Employee since 2014
"Hello, my name is Rakrakpuy Marika. I'm the granddaughter of Roy Marika and the daughter of Witiyana Marika, who was in Yothu Yindi.
I started working for Dhimurru when I finished school. I wanted to work here because both my grandfathers worked here and I wanted to look after my country by my grandfather's wisdom and the knowledge that he taught me.
The best thing about working for Dhimurru is working with the other miyalk rangers, and I also really like camping out and doing marine debris clean-up.
I also want to learn more about the equipment that we use to look after country, like whipper snippers! It's a good job here because I can get training."
Ranger - Hamish Gondarra
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”.
Ranger - Guymilili Bidingal
Ranger - Wanga Mununggurritj
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.