Ryan vs Liddle: beyond mediation


The face-off between heavyweights in the local Aboriginal political scene continued in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court today, with both sides declaring that they were unwilling to go through a mediation process.
Left: Maurie Ryan (centre) with supporters Marie-Elena Ellis and Frank Ansell outside the court today.

The applicant for a personal violence order, Maurie Ryan, chairman of the Central Land Council, attempted to explain his refusal in terms of the defendant’s character. He didn’t get very far as the defendant, Michael Liddle, is represented by former senior lawyer for the land council, David Avery. Mr Avery sprang to his feet with a loud “I object”, complaining that Mr Ryan was attempting “to smear” his client, “yet again”.
Mr Ryan, representing himself, said in reply that if the matter goes to court he has people ready to swear affidavits …
Magistrate David Bamber interrupted, explaining that mediation is part of the process, and he usually needs to hear good reasons as to why parties are declining to submit to it.
When Mr Ryan attempted to go to the heart of the matter – saying that he “feels unsafe” in his workplace and his place of residence – Mr Bamber concluded that “you don’t feel mediation can resolve” the issue.
Right: Michael Liddle.
Mr Avery said his client feels similarly, as he indicated last time. He said his client denies Mr Ryan’s allegations, there’s “nothing” behind them and one “can’t mediate nothing”.
Mr Bamber set the matter down for hearing on March 25.
Mr Ryan had meanwhile told the court that he will approach the Federal Government’s Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the Attorney-General, seeking their help to get him legal representation, as he is “the head of a statutory body”.
Outside the court – flanked by Marie-Elena Ellis and Frank Ansell, both with high profiles in the local Aboriginal political scene – Mr Ryan expressed his satisfaction in getting a hearing date.
Mr Liddle was formerly deputy chairman of the Central Land Council and continues to be on the executive, representing the native title holder body, Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation.


  1. Why pray do we the tax payers have to pay for Mr Ryan’s legal fees. Surely he gets paid for being “the head of a statutory body” plus a car which I am sure they pay the expenses on including fuel. If I wanted a lawyer I would have to pay. Mr Ryan wants to take Mr Liddle to court, then let him Mr Ryan pay for the lawyer.

  2. Kelly, Can you tell me who is paying for Liddle’s lawyer? I take my hat off to Mr Ryan. CLC directors past and present need FULL investigation. Mr Ryan is the best chairperson CLC has ever had.

  3. Kelly, “I object.” Hahahah.
    Could you please explain who is paying for Michael Liddle’s lawyer? I totally agree with William Graig. CLC needs to be investigated. As the saying goes, “what goes around comes around”. It’s called Karma.

  4. Mr.Perkins (dec), Mr.Scrutton (dec), Mr.Rubuntja (dec). Come on William, these were Aboriginal men who carried integrity to the highest honour. Homework for you young fella!

  5. Sorry, Kelly, taxpayers aren’t paying Japarta’s fees – he is paying his own way on this one.
    Instead of taking shots at him, answer me this: Who is paying Mr Liddle’s costs and does Mr Avery have standing to be representing him?
    What is Mr Avery’s relationship to both Mr Liddle and the CLC? Hey, I don’t know the answers, Kelly, but you sound like you do. You must be related to someone at the CLC, hey? – Tjilpi.

  6. @Barkly Pete, you got it all wrong, it was Mr Ryan that made it known public that he wanted the tax payers to pay for a lawyer. this is a private matter, dont you read the news flash above.

  7. (Nothing but cover ups) Not talkin about clc delgets. Directors, people that run clc. Bringing up dead peoples names (Nothing but a five minut black fulla) haven’t even got the guts to put your name up to Your comments 🙂


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