Mr Young Najukpayi awarded an OAM

[by Leah McLennan]

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Mr Young Najukpayi was born in the early 1930s in the Natives’ Tent beside the hospital at the Victoria River Downs homestead and grew up in the “native” compound nearby. Image: supplied

The Northern Land Council congratulates Mr Young Najukpayi, OAM from Yarralin following the news that he has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

 

Mr Young Najukpayi has selflessly devoted his life to his country, his culture and his people. He has also provided many years of invaluable service in support of the activities of the NLC, particularly in relation to a number of claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act (ALRA) and the Native Title Act.

 

Mr Young Najukpayi’s evidence, knowledge, assistance and advice has been critical to the success of a number of land claims and matters and also to the preservation of knowledge of country and the maintenance of culture.

 

NLC Chair Samuel Bush-Blanasi did not hesitate to support Mr Young Najukpayi’s nomination when he was approached in 2021.

 

"I can think of no more worthy recipient for such an award than Mr Young Najukpayi, who has contributed so much to his people, country and the work of the Northern Land Council over many, many years," said Mr Bush-Blanasi.

 

“Mr Young Najukpayi is a humble man but he is one of the giants upon whose shoulders we all stand. It is only through the dedication and selfless commitment of people like Mr Young Najukpayi that we have got a lot of country back and kept our cultures alive.”

 

Speaking from Mr Young Najukpayi’s hometown of Yarralin, Mayor of the Victoria Daly Regional Council and Executive Councillor of the NLC, Brian Pedwell, said that the whole of Yarralin and the VRD district was happy for Mr Young Najukpayi today.

 

“We are all pleased to see that one of our countrymen has been honoured in this way. His recognition is long overdue and I know that I speak on behalf of everyone at Yarralin and right across the VRD when I send our heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to Mr Young Najukpayi, his family and countrymen and women,” said Mayor Pedwell.

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