Adrian Lane, the newly appointed Chairman of Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation (DAC), is a committed campaigner for the Dambi people’s return to traditional country.
A director of the DAC for the past 18 months, Mr Lane was elected to take on the chairman’s role after Rowena Mouda stepped down in June this year.
A nephew of one of Dambi’s most famous Elders and Traditional Owners, artist Donny Woolagoodja, Mr Lane has inherited his family’s passion for the spectacular Dambimangari homelands north of Derby.
The original custodians of the region were relocated to European settlements in the early 20th century. Despite the shift, the Dambimangari people have shown a fierce determination to ensure the survival of their culture and connections to country.
The opportunity to re-establish a Dambimangari presence on the traditional lands came with the grant of Exclusive Native Title in 2011.
For Adrian Lane, the most important task for the Board is to get Dambi traditional owners working and, where possible, living on country.
He plans to encourage a strong focus on increased employment for Dambimangari people in the Kimberley.
“We want our people to be working on country and making sure that it’s well managed,” he said.
“And we want Traditional Owners living on country – that’s the ultimate dream.
“To achieve this we must be part of the economic development that’s coming to this area.
“Businesses like tourism and environmental management. We need to be part of those businesses and the discussions which go with them.
“We also need to be at the forefront of discussions with Government about the future of our country.”
Mr Lane, who lives in Broome, is married to Kimmita and the couple have four children.