A Cape York Traditional Owner has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Cape York Land Council.
The appointment was announced by chair Richie Ah Mat, who said he was delighted to have a Traditional Owner at the helm, who will also be the youngest CEO in the history of the organisation.
Southern Kaantju man, Dion Creek, 37, begins his appointment at one of Australia’s largest land councils today.
“We need strong leadership and we need a strong voice for Traditional Owners,” Mr Ah Mat said.
“Dion’s track record of leadership in various organisations across the Cape, and his work as a former CYLC board director give him a valuable insight into the priorities and the challenges that face us as a land council.”
“I am looking forward to a productive relationship that will benefit all Cape York Pama.”
Mr Creek said he was delighted at the opportunity to continue his family’s legacy of advocating on behalf of Cape York Pama. His mother, Ann Creek, was appointed CYLC’s first female CEO in 1997.
He said his vision was to continue the important work of the CYLC and the Cape York United #1 Claim (CYU #1 Claim), lodged eight years ago.
“The CYU #1 Claim is one of the largest and most powerful land claims in Australian history.”
“We must continue to play a lead role in advocating for and supporting Cape York Pama, by ensuring our people’s rights and interests are protected,” he said.
“It is vital that we ensure Traditional Owners speak for their Country.”
Mr Creek said an immediate priority was to safeguard and ensure the continued progress of the CYU #1 Claim.
The third round of consent determinations in one of Australia’s largest native title claims will be held at Injinoo this Thursday, October 6.
Atambaya and Gudang Yadhaykenu Native Title groups will be celebrating the recognition of native title rights at the celebrations.
“The continued progress of the CYU #1 Claim will ensure that all Cape York Pama can have their rights and interests recognised under native title, and most importantly, build the capacity of our Prescribed Body Corporates,” Mr Creek said.