Open Letter to the Northern Territory government by Aboriginal lawmaker

Yingiya Mark Guyula

"I am one of the best resources government can use to help give critical info to communities and get feedback in my electorate. The people know me, and I know the people very well - this is why they voted for me because they have real trust in me. If the government want to genuinely be part of ‘community led’ responses, start by working with myself and other leaders."


Writes Yingiya Mark Guyula, independent Aboriginal member in the Northern Territory government in Australia, in a newsletter dated 2 June 2017, responding to "an emergency response" by the Territory government to volatile substance abuse in many communities in his home, Arnhem Land.


Guyula won the electorate of Djirrikaymirr in the election last August 28, pipping a female Labor contender marked for a prominent post in the mainly white Labor government.


He states in his open letter, headed: Genuine outcomes for Yolngu communities

"The NT Government is now providing an emergency response to Volatile Substance Abuse in many communities in Arnhem Land. I know that sniffing is an act of self-harm or self-medication.

“It follows the breakdown of Yolngu culture – balanda [white] culture coming over the top of Yolngu culture – imposing and assimilating.

“Leaders in many Arnhem Land communities have been grappling with this issue for some time, but we have not had any resources to solve this problem. Power, authority and resources to solve this problem need to be given to the Yolngu communities and Yolngu authorities.

"I come from Arnhem Land, I am a Yolngu Leader and I am the elected representative for Nhulunbuy and yet the Government are not providing information or consulting with me in a meaningful way, so that I can empower Yolngu communities with information. I have asked the Minister for Health:

"I want to see happy, healthy children living in communities. I know the way to achieve this is to allow the Yolngu elders to solve the problems. We are sovereign people and we have a right to determine our future. I want Governments of all levels to act with diplomacy.

“Come and find the authorities, go camp to camp, and engage in diplomatic discussions with other nations.


"10 years since the Federal Government Intervention and everyone needs to remember that we experience the failings of that invasion every day."

Yingiya's Win for Treaty Now! Homepage: News:

Yingiya Mark Guyula confirmed as the Member for Nhulunbuy


Yingiya Mark Guyula | Respect and Listen:


Yolngu man Yingiya's extraordinary win at NT election
is a significant milestone for #TreatyNow movement!msg/wgar-news/UEwqG_dopFw/GLz1HHw1AQAJ;context-place=msg/wgar-news/_Kh8w7yLk6Y/gSr05WJ6AAAJ


Yingiya Mark Guyula
Treaty candidate takes seat of Nhulunbuy!msg/wgar-news/H5eslsMT6tg/5brTImI6AgAJ;context-place=msg/wgar-news/_Kh8w7yLk6Y/gSr05WJ6AAAJ

~ Peter Robson

"Aboriginal candidate Yingiya Mark Guyula has won an upset in the seat of Nhulunbuy,

toppling sitting member and deputy-chief-minister-to-be Lynne Walker by only eight votes after preferences and recounts on September 9.

"Guyula delivered the NT Labor Party its only defeat in the August 28 election ...

"“My argument is for treaty,” ... "