LETTER TO THE EDITOR
We pay tribute to the former Chairman of the Central Land Council Mr Bookie who passed away on his country this weekend.
It was terrible to hear of the passing of such a great Territorian and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and community at this sad time.
He was a proud Alywarra- Eastern Arrente man who worked hard to improve his people’s lives. He won respect through his knowledge of traditional law and culture, and fought to keep both alive. His leadership and strength will be sorely missed.
The former Chairman was someone who believed there could be a brighter future for Indigenous Territorians and he worked hard to make that happen.
He believed that commercial enterprise had a place on Aboriginal land and lived by that principle, running an award-winning tourism business on his country at the northern edge of the Simpson Desert. He liked nothing more than to share his beautiful country and culture. Visitors to Central Australia loved him for it.
He wanted Aboriginal people to have a more active voice in decisions about their lives and spoke plainly about the challenges facing his people.
As a younger man, he worked on stations throughout Central Australia, maintaining his connection with the land. He also served the Territory as an Aboriginal Community Police Officer at Harts Range for five years.
His principles and great contribution to the Territory will not be forgotten.
On behalf of all Territorians we express our condolences to this great man’s family and community.
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Minister for Community Services
4 August 2014