Yingiya Mark Guyula

is the independent member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly for Nhulunbuy and an elder and spokesperson of the Nations Assembly.

Yingiya Mark Guyula MLA
NT Legislative Assembly Member for Nhulunbuy
PO Box 1045 Nhulunbuy NT 0881
p 0889870125, e electorate.nhulunbuy@nt.gov.au


The following is taken from Wikipedia.

Yingiya Mark Guyula is an Australian politician. He is an independent member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, and was elected at the 2016 Territory election, where he narrowly defeated the Labor member for Nhulunbuy and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Lynne Walker.[1]

Guyula was born and raised in Mirrngadja, and went to school at Galiwinku. His people are the Liya-dhälinymirr Djambarrpuyŋu of Arnhem Land. He worked in aviation as an aircraft mechanic, and gained his private pilot licence. He also worked as a senior lecturer at Charles Darwin University in its Yolŋu Studies program.[2]

Guyula is an elder and spokesperson of the Yolŋu Nations Assembly, which endorsed his candidacy for the 2016 election. He has campaigned for a treaty between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, in preference to the proposal for recognition of indigenous Australians in the Constitution of Australia.[3]

As returns came in on election night, Guyula gradually closed the gap with Walker, and eventually took a narrow lead. After a recount, he won by eight votes. His victory came as a major upset, especially given Labor’s landslide victory at that election; Walker would have become Deputy Chief Minister had she retained her seat.

Shortly after the election, Guyula attracted criticism from the new Chief Minister, Michael Gunner after he claimed with regards to domestic violence that “A lot of the time, women start the fighting and men end up in jail”[4]

Shortly before being sworn into parliament, it was discovered that Guyula was in fact a member of the Milingimbi Local Authority, and thus ineligible to run for parliament. The matter was referred to the Court of Disputed Returns.[5] The court dismissed the case on 1 December 2016, after reaching an agreement with the Northern Territory Electoral Commission.[6]


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The following is taken from http://www.yingiya.net/


A Treaty for Arnhem Land with the requirements of:

  • Recognition of Maḏayin System of Law.
  • Recognition of an Arnhem Land body of government that is consistent with Maḏayin system of law.
  • Compensation for lost revenue from the blockade of historical international trade with Maccassans.

This provides the outcome of Arnhem Land:

  • Resuming law-making jurisdiction over its lands and seas.
  • Resuming policing and judicial powers within its boundaries.
  • Resuming control of resources from regions lands and seas.
  • Taking control of tax regimes.
  • Being a ‘nation within a nation’, in line with the USA ethos for Native American Nations.

Representative Accountability

The representative’s support for bills and amendments will be determined against the general goals of Self Determination, Self Management and Self Governancefor the Arnhem Land region.

The Five Tests

All legislation will be screened by the five tests which address the challenges we face nationally and globally.

  • Is there integrity in the political process? (open, transparent, inclusive, accountable)
  • Is it sustainable? (environmental, social, economic – the triple bottom line)
  • Is it fair? (to country and city, vulnerable and mainstream, employee and employer)
  • Has historical injustice been addressed? (beginning with Indigenous Australians)
  • Does it build community? (family, community, nation and the world)



Job List


  • Finalise guidelines for and establish an Land representative council, borrowing from the Westminster system of law and founded in the Maḏayin system of law and Ŋärra’ rom.
  • Pursue resourcing for the above body.


  • Investigate and advocate for improved Northern Territory licensing regimes enabling the use of resources on Aboriginal land and sea by traditional Aboriginal owners and their associated groups and kin.
  • Advocate for government preference of local contractors.
  • Advocate for the decentralisation of Northern Land Council governance to enable traditional Aborignal owners regional control over resources and use of resources.
  • Advocate for the right for traditional Aboriginal owners and their traditional management units to self-organise, independently negotiate and have an advocate within NLC processes. This would enable the dual likelihood of agreements made with Free, Prior and Informed Consent and faster outcomes to negotiations.
  • Advocate for the NLC to acknowledge the Maḏayin system of law and work within the bounds of this system.
  • Pursue sea rights for traditional Aboriginal owners.
  • Re-connect with Maccassans.
  • Establish partnerships with Indigenous nations worldwide.

Education/ Community Controlled and Bilingual Education

  • Schools for homelands not just learning centres.
  • Independent Community controlled governance of schools, away from the interference of the education department.
  • Bilingual programs, inclusive of Indigenous and Non-indigenous curriculum.
  • The scrapping of punitive models of attendance programs. Instead addressing school attendance through community controlled responses and community involvement in the school.


  • Support a moratorium on gas fracking.
  • Advocate for recognition of traditional Indigenous conservation practices and areas, and sites of significance, land and sea.

Housing and Infrastructure/ Homelands

  • The inclusion of homelands in the planning of regional development and service provision.
  • Ensure government housing is appropriate to our tropical environment and considerate of the culture of the community being housed.
  • Development of local building teams to ‘slow build’ housing in a continuous fashion, instead of the boom and bust scenario created by irregular rounds of Indigenous building programs.


  • Create resources to enable birthing on country
  • Bilingual and culturally appropriate health education for adults.
  • Improved access to Indigenous interpreters, with improved health specific training, and more access to two-way health educators to improve compliance.
  • Improve access to renal facilities.
  • Improvement of access to mortuaries.

Indigenous Affairs

  • Utilise the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for all new legislation.


  • Judgment and sentencing of Indigenous citizens inclusive of their custom and culture.
  • Alternatives to sentencing to jail, including the use of Indigenous cultural institutions for rehabilitation and community driven diversion and rehabilitation programs.
  • Resource region by region Makarr Dhuni forums and Mediation centres to provide the role of discretion in policing, to provide diversions from criminal system, and to provide alternative avenues to court for dispute resolution and negotiation. The Makarr dhuni forum would also facilitate community judgment and alternative sentencing. This should result in de-policing (less ) with discretionary justice roles returned to elders. It would result in less arrests and less court appearances, leading to relief of the court system and jail system, while also providing protection of society, restitution for victims and rehabilitation of offenders.
  • Administrative and ‘Justice of the Peace’ type support at police station to deal with civil law needs.
  • Legislate the Anunga Rules.
  • Recognise Maḏayin law process for funeral rites.

Language and Culture

  • Establish Indigenous language rights.
  • Improve accessibility of interpreter services and training of interpreters.
  • Improve cultural competency training for new government staff working in Arnhem Land.
  • Improve access to Indigenous knowledges and language training in English speaking schools of Arnhem Land region.
  • Create avenues of cultural exchange with close international neighbors.


Yingiya Mark Guyula MLA
NT Legislative Assembly Member for Nhulunbuy
PO Box 1045 Nhulunbuy NT 0881
p 0889870125, e electorate.nhulunbuy@nt.gov.au