Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 17 October 2007

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Parliamentary Record 17


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 17 October 2007 4900 as a very compassionate person; passionate about his work with Aboriginal people and communities throughout the Northern Territory. In his first year in the Territory, he worked at Papunya, Yuendumu and Bagot. On gaining his qualifications from the Australian School of Pacific Administration, Jeff was appointed Community Advisor at Yayayi in 1973. He spent two years in that job, spending much of his first year living out of a swag. After that, he spent the next few years in various roles in Tennant Creek, Ali Curung and Borroloola before enrolling at the Australian National University to study anthropology. With an Anthropology Honours degree completed at the end of 1980, Jeff went to work as the Mining Anthropologist at the Central Land Council, where he had worked during his university holidays over the previous four years. In mid-1982, Jeff did his first stint with sacred sites working with the then Aboriginal Sacred Sites Authority. From early 1983, Jeff was Research Coordinator for all the anthropological research work at the CLC. By the mid-1980s, Jeffs kids were teenagers so he chose to become a consultant, working out of Victoria whilst they undertook their schooling. In those five years, he worked almost exclusively as a consultant preparing Northern Territory land claims. In 1991, Jeff returned to the Territory, this time as Manager of the Anthropology and Land Tenure Unit at the Northern Land Council where he worked for nearly 13 years. In all his time at the CLC and the NLC as a consultant, Jeff was directly involved in research for 14 Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act land claims and supervised research on numerous others. Jeff was also the Senior Anthropologist in two native title determinations, St Vidgeons and the Urapunga township. In recognition of his achievements and contribution, Jeff was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002 for services to the indigenous community, particularly in the area of land rights and his determination to protect sacred sites. In 2003, Jeff was appointed to his present position and has directed the changes to the Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act that have strengthened protection and prosecution mechanisms because Aboriginal people, custodians of sacred sites, asked for those changes to be incorporated. Jeff has overseen significant improvements to the structure and operations of the authority to improve relationships between the authority and other NT government agencies, all for the sake of improved protection of sites. Jeff has also worked for a better understanding of sacred sites by other agencies, industry and the general public. Jeffs friendship with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the Territory spans 35 years. His understanding of Aboriginal people across the Territory is second to none, and he will be sorely missed. Ask any anthropologist in the Northern Territory about any issue and almost instantaneously, the name Jeff Stead will pop up. Jeffs commitment to Aboriginal people and culture is clear to all who have worked with him or known him, a man who has made an enormous contribution to indigenous people and, thus, the Northern Territory as a whole. Although largely unheralded and unacknowledged, Jeff is also a very discreet person and was enormously respected for his high standards of integrity and honesty. Jeff will be a huge loss to the Northern Territory in terms of his knowledge and commitment, particularly in the areas of sacred sites. On behalf of the Northern Territory, Jeff, to you, your wife and children, thank you very much for your outstanding contribution. I know that you are going to retire to Victoria. We wish you all the very best and thank you for your outstanding contribution to the Territory and your stewardship of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority. Mr KNIGHT (Daly): Mr Acting Deputy Speaker, tonight I wish to report to the Assembly on my Commonwealth Parliamentary Association trip to New Delhi, India, in September. I represented the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. This was the 53rd CPA Conference. The CPA had its inception in 1911 and has been engaged in the laudable task of promoting democracy, good governance and sustainable development. It also recognises diversity in all its dimensions and encourages member countries to adopt and adapt policies, systems and practices to suit their specific requirements which, in turn, will strengthen the democratic framework. It is a noble cause and I was impressed by the organisation. At the conference, a number of things happen. There is the Small Countries Conference before the General Assembly, which does a number of things. It is the ultimate authority in determining the policies and arrangements for the association. It also has the purpose of furthering representation of women within Commonwealth parliaments and enhancing the participation of women members in the associations affairs. It has incorporated a great deal of affirmative action within the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.