Yingiya Mark Guyula Media Statement 16th of August 2016
Yingiya Mark Guyula Independent Candidate for Nhulunbuy
NT Legislative Elections 2016
The 2016 Northern Territory election will be very important for East Arnhem Land. I want it to be marked as a milestone for the Treaty movement.
In 2011 leaders in East Arnhem Land founded the Yolngu Nations Assembly to resource practical work toward a treaty for Arnhem Land. Everyone knows we have sought a treaty from Australian governments since the Barunga Statement of 1988, and with two later petitions in 1998 and 2008. Governments have largely ignored these diplomatic gestures, so we decided to stop waiting and get started.
Yolngu Nations Assembly continues to develop, but to progress our core issue of a treaty we think it necessary to have one of our own law people in a parliament of Australia. I have been selected for this job by the Assembly.
In the July 2016 Federal election I ran a practice campaign, and stood for the seat of Lingiari. When the votes were counted in North East Arnhem Land (roughly reflecting the Nhulunbuy electorate) I received 1091 primary votes to Labor’s 922. The Yolngu vote is usually considered a safe Labor vote, and we also turn out to vote at lower percentages than our non-Indigenous compatriots, these factors combine to make this result an indication of clear support for our issue of a treaty for Arnhem Land.
The campaign for Nhulunbuy will now provide another opportunity for the electorate to pledge their support for treaty. If I win this seat, it will not only be a great victory for our Arnhem Land call for treaty, but a strong statement adding to the call for sovereign rights for Indigenous people across the continent.
Yingiya Mark Guyula
Contact: Kendall Trudgen