August 25th, 2023

It’s been a little while in between updates, but a lot has been happening at Developing East Arnhem Limited (DEAL) and across the region.

Our team has been growing steadily and it has been wonderful to welcome Gabrielle (Gabby) Kennedy as my new Executive Assistant and Andrea Wanambi as our Administration Officer. Lucy Marsters has moved to join Sophie Szylkarski in the Housing Team as our Housing Officer. Nathan Djerrkura has joined us as our new Business Development and Support Manager and will bring great strength to support existing and aspiring Yolŋu businesses and entrepreneurs. Monika Bolton, a tourism and communications professional, has joined recently as our Tourism Development Officer following Ryley’s move to take up an economic development role in WA. Chris Gillies continues as our Industry Development Facilitator with a focus on Agribusiness. 

In partnership with Yolŋu and the East Arnhem Regional Economic Growth Committee (REGC), DEAL shares an optimistic long-term vision for East Arnhem, and between now and 2030 we are focused on smoothing the transition to a post-mining economy. Ensuring job creation and economic stability across East Arnhem while we help build the foundations for long-term growth, we have identified our key priority industry sectors to focus our efforts across the region: 

  • Agribusiness (Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry)
  • Human Services (supporting the development of new service models for delivery of improved care and employment outcomes through the National Disability Insurance Scheme)
  • The Low Carbon Future; and 
  • Tourism

Image: Basket weaving at Dhalinybuy

A range of projects are being implemented in these areas, and we look forward to keeping you updated in the months to come.

We will be continuing our focus on removing barriers and supporting enablers in key areas such as housing, roads and transport, and digital connectivity. 

DEAL also continues to support local community events with sponsorship provided to the Nhulunbuy Regional Sports Fishing Club for the 20th Anniversary of Airnorth’s Ladies Fishing Classic and the McCosker Gove Family Fishing Challenge, and to Nhulunbuy Runners North for the annual Nhulunbuy Running Festival.

In February DEAL headed to Gapuwiyak to facilitate a meeting between Goŋ-Ḏäl Aboriginal Corporation, Milindji Aboriginal Corporation and Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Centre to discuss planning for integrated tourism activities. And we headed back there in April with our Board members. It was an incredible opportunity for the Board to get direct input and feedback on areas where we can actively support priorities in Gapuwiyak. We will return there in September to continue the conversation.

DEAL recently supported Laynhapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation with a sponsorship contribution towards their Bush Uni trial which was conducted over five weeks at Garrthalala Homeland.

The trial was a bilingual program, and the Yolŋu Elders have a strong vision to extend educational support from this hub and offer post-secondary and vocational learning opportunities across the homelands.

We are proud of our ongoing support of Knowledge Water and provided funding for Yolŋu representatives to attend the Supply Nation Connect event in Sydney.

We provided funding to Our Generation Media to enable several Yolŋu people to travel to Darwin International Film Festival for the premiere of Luku Ngärra: The Law of the Land.
And get ready for the return of Arnhem Land’s most awesome music festival East Arnhem Live brought to you this year by Aris & Grimes! Four days – four free concerts in Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala and Gunyaŋara on the 24-27 August 2023!

We welcome any feedback you have on these updates, and how best to share our work with you. Feel free to email me direct or give me a call on 0412 814 375.
Paul Dobing
Chief Executive Officer
Developing East Arnhem Limited


From DEAL Administration Officer, Andrea Wanambi

Laynhapuy Homelands Trauma Informed Care Team held a Women’s Wellbeing Camp at Baniyala. A safe regulating space was created by the 25 women, camping on the beach for two nights. It provided the opportunity to build and strengthen connections, share voices, discuss trauma, brain pathways, safety and how to support each other at home and in the workplace. The women, fished, hunted for yams, wove and held heartfelt conversations in Yolŋu Matha about the importance of gurrutu and sharing cultural knowledge.
The Elders held strong conversations on the importance of young people being on country, learning their history, their stories, and how to hunt. It’s activities like this that promote health, fitness, and resilience – a tool kit to deal with the pressures of life.

Posted in: DEAL news