NBAN’s membership comprises the following sovereign First Nations: Barunggam, Bidjara, Bigambul, Budjiti, Euahlayi, Gomeroi, Githabul, Gungarri, Jarowair, Gwamu (Kooma), Kambuwal, Kunja, Kwiambul, Malangapa, Mandandanji, Mardigan, Murrawarri, Ngemba, Ngiyampaa, Wailwan and Wakka Wakka. These Nations share a geographic and spiritual connection that they have harnessed, through NBAN, to advocate for their continued connection to the northern Murray-Darling Basin river system. Read more about Our Nation Delegates below.

Our Directors: 2019-2022

Every three years, Delegate Members nominate NBAN’s Chairperson and a Board of Directors, from NBAN’s membership. The last election took place in Tamworth in November, 2019. The Board of Directors manage and exercise all the powers of the company, except powers that are required by the Constitution or the Corporations Act to be exercised by Delegate Members at a general Gathering.

Chairperson: Fred Hooper

Fred is a Murrawarri man from the Murrawarri Nation, situated between Bokhara and Warrego Rivers, which straddle what is now known as the Qld and NSW borders in the western part of NSW and south western part of Qld.

Fred joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1979 at the age of 17, and served six years on both surface ships and submarines. He left the Navy in 1985 to work in the Commonwealth Public Service. After leaving the Public Service, Fred worked for a number of First Nation organisations.

Fred was responsible for the Murrawarri Nation declaring their continued independence from the British Crown. Fred is the Chair of the Murrawarri Peoples Council and the Northern Basin Aboriginal Nations, which represents 21 sovereign First Nations of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. Fred has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to secure water rights for these First Nations and their peoples.

Deputy Chairperson: Cheryl Buchanan

Treasurer: Tanya Kirkegaard

A proud and passionate Bigambul woman born in Goondiwindi. I am a mother and grandmother with strong matrilineal ties to my traditional lands and waters, continuing to share and pass on traditional cultural knowledge to the younger up and coming generations. I am the current Chair of Queensland Murray Darling Catchments Limited and am undertaking my Masters in Integrated Water Management at Griffith University Nathan Campus with the International Water Centre. I believe a First Nations voice is paramount in Natural Resource Management, particularly in the Water sphere. Water is our lifeblood and our Spirit and plays an important role within our everyday lives, our existence and our connection to Country. I have worked and been involved with Water and Natural Resource Management for many years and continue to progress and advocate for Aboriginal inclusion in decision-making processes and delivery of projects and programs to achieve self-determination and self-governance in a space that has often escaped traditional application of knowledge. I am honoured to be endorsed by my Nation to be a delegate and undertake my position as Director and Treasurer of NBAN with great pride, seriousness and commitment.

Secretary: Margaret Seckold

Director: Justin Saunders

Director: Marcus Waters

Director: Malcolm Talbot

Director: Patricia Conlon

Director: Raymond Thompson

Raymond Thompson, Wailwan Elder and NBAN Delegate of 4 years, was voted in as a Board Member for NBAN at the 2019 Tamworth Gathering and AGM. Raymond also sits on his Native Title Board and the Three Rivers Regional Assembly, as well as being the Deputy Chair of the Gilgandra Local Aboriginal Lands Council.

Raymond’s knowledge and passion for education, water and biodiversity, along with consulting experience with government Ministers, are merits that augment his role as NBAN Director.

Our Nation Delegates

NBAN’s Nations, through their self-determined governance structures, appoint two persons to each be Delegate Members of the company. Through this process, each Nation accords NBAN with the cultural authority to speak on behalf of the First Nations of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. Members meet annually, at a minimum, at a Gathering of Delegate Members.

Barunggam: Averil Dillon & Dorothy Daylight

Bidjara: Clynton Mailman

Bigambul: Justin Saunders & Tanya Kirkegaard

Tanya Kirkegaard
A proud and passionate Bigambul woman born in Goondiwindi. I am a mother and grandmother with strong matrilineal ties to my traditional lands and waters, continuing to share and pass on traditional cultural knowledge to the younger up and coming generations. I am the current Chair of Queensland Murray Darling Catchments Limited and am undertaking my Masters in Integrated Water Management at Griffith University Nathan Campus with the International Water Centre. I believe a First Nations voice is paramount in Natural Resource Management, particularly in the Water sphere. Water is our lifeblood and our Spirit and plays an important role within our everyday lives, our existence and our connection to Country. I have worked and been involved with Water and Natural Resource Management for many years and continue to progress and advocate for Aboriginal inclusion in decision making processes and delivery of projects and programs to achieve self-determination and self-governance in a space that has often escaped traditional application of knowledge. I am honoured to be endorsed by my Nation to be a delegate and undertake my position as Director and Treasurer of NBAN with great pride, seriousness and commitment.

Budjiti: Margaret Seckold & Jason Thomas

Jason Thomas
Jason is a Traditional Owner who has represented the Budjiti Nation for over 30 years. Jason has also been nominated to represent his mother’s Nation, as her descendant. Over the years Jason has travelled far and wide to attend meetings and speak to Aboriginal rights, including Native Title and water rights for his people. Jason has battled for his Nation and worked alongside neighbouring Nations on overlapping issues. In the beginning the fight was hard and complicated, including in court and with other Nations, to see any changes, but it has become easier over time.

Jason takes time to inform and educate his family and siblings, and has been nominated to talk on NBAN matters. He has always had a passion for Aboriginal rights and feels well supported. The support Jason gets from NBAN and from other Nations along with program funding gives him a boost and helps keep him going. Having Native Title determination and a registered Corporation are outcomes that his Nation have achieved.

Euahlayi: Michael Eckford & Allan Lamb

Githabul: Melissa Chalmers & Delphine Charles

Delphine Charles
Delphine is a community-minded Githabul woman. Her involvement with NBAN stems from the desire to pave the way for future generations so they don’t have to fight so hard to be heard and valued. She believes “It is greatly important that the Githabul people are able to tell their stories about Country and keep languages and culture alive”.

Gomeroi: Marcus Waters & Malcolm Talbot

Malcolm Talbot
Malcolm Talbot is a Kwiambal man from Ashford NSW, where he attended the local school. He worked on Tobacco farms before they were closed down during the government buyback of tobacco and water licences in the late 70-80s. Malcolm had 20 years of service within the NSW Police Force, and now resides in Ashford, enjoying the peace and quiet.

Gunggari: Lynette Nixon & Edward (Ted) Martin

Lynette Nixon
Aunty Lynette Nixon is a warrior and NBAN Delegate of her Gunggari Nation. Aunty Lynette was at the forefront of three successful Native Title land determinations, restoring the Gunggari Nation, and has made sure the knowledge and traditions of her people are taught and remembered. As winner of the 2018 NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year Award, Aunty Lynette is most proud of the fact the youth of the Gunggari Nation are following her lead and stepping into advocacy and representative roles.

Edward (Ted) Martin
Ted Martin of the Gunggari Nation became a Delegate of NBAN because of his love of Country. He has participated in NBAN workshops and Gatherings, including the last Gathering of Delegates in Tamworth 2019. Ted enjoys sharing cultural knowledge, particularly with younger people, and has a strong spiritual connection to the waterways of his people.

Guwamu (Kooma): Cheryl Buchanan & Angus Mitchell

Angus Mitchell
Angus is a Guwamu (Kooma) Delegate who loves to travel and meet and greet others of all ages. All the river systems are important to Angus for fishing and gatherings with different Nations, for sharing of knowledge. For Angus, it is all about listening to the Elders, passing on how things are done to the next generation, and respect.

Jarowair: Phillip West & Stephanie Miller

Kambuwal: Andrew (Tom) Brown & Barry Brown

Andrew (Tom) Brown
Tom Brown has been an NBAN Kambuwal Delegate for 9 years. His initial desire was to meet, listen and learn from other Delegates in all aspects of traditional cultural heritage and cultural knowledge. He sees the manner in which all NBAN meetings are conducted as a credit to the founding members.

Barry Brown
Barry Brown has also been an NBAN Kambuwal Delegate for 9 years. He has gained many good friendships through attending NBAN meetings and especially enjoys the sharing of knowledge and support. The friendly way meetings are conducted is an appreciation he shares with his son Tom.

Kunja: Maureen McKellar & Kymberley Monaghan

Kwiambul: Elvis Talbot

Elvis Talbot
NBAN’s Kwiambul Delegate Elvis Talbot views the work being done now from a long term perspective. His commitment to the advancement of his Nation is deep-seated, from his role in the establishment of the Newcastle All Blacks Rugby League team in 1978, to his participation in activities around Aboriginal heritage sites in Wollemi National Park. He is optimistic about NBAN and Aboriginal water rights: “Much can be achieved when the right people get together with the right attitude and work together for the good of all”.

Mandandanji: Kay Blades & Aaron Blades

Mardigan: Owen Murphy & Dorothy Cindy Anderson

Owen Murphy
Owen is a claimant of the Mardigan People as part of the first claim for the Nation, and is a believer in Mardigan lore and the traditional way. Owen joined NBAN 6 years ago, once Mardigan was incorporated. Owen would like to see NBAN work with people at a grassroots level, to get the rivers flowing properly, as “water is our bloodline”.

Owen would also like to see NBAN work with traditional owner groups, and give them guidance on becoming incorporated.

Murrawarri: Fred Hooper & Phillip Sullivan

Fred Hooper
Fred is a Murrawarri man from the Murrawarri Nation. He was responsible for the Murrawarri Nation declaring their continued independence from the British Crown. Fred is also the chair of NBAN, and has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to secure water rights for First Nations and their peoples in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin.

Phillip Sullivan
Philip is a Murrawarri man. His mother’s father and grandfather are from the Ngemba Nation, and he carries the totem on his grandfather’s side, the yellowbelly. Like the yellowbelly, Phil can’t go without water, as “water is life”.

The Government may argue and debate about water, but the animals, the plants and man can live and look after our water as one, with NBAN leading the way. He would like NBAN to be seen as leaders in the First Nation water space, through strong leadership in the water debate.

Ngemba: Feli McHughes & Lynette McHughes

Ngiyampaa: Peter J Harris & Barry Williams

Peter J Harris
Peter is a Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan descendant that lives on the Lachlan River. He is on the Lachlan Environmental Water Advisory Group, and on the Aboriginal Community Advisory Group with the Western Local Land Service. His main focus is to have the Booberi and Willandra Creeks flowing at all times, for cultural practices and spiritual connection.

Barry Williams
Barry is a a proud Ngiyampaa man, born in Lake Cargelligo. Barry grew up in Murrin Bridge and now resides in Euabalong. In the near future he would like to see all First Nations with water ownership rights, so that they can continue with their traditional and cultural activities, teaching the younger generation.

Wailwan: Raymond Thompson

Raymond Thompson
Raymond is a Wailwan Elder, and a descendant of Louise Hinton. As Raymond’s passion is to get water back to the Macquarie Marshes, he joined NBAN to learn more about water.

Raymond sits on the Native Title Board and the Three Rivers Regional Assembly. He is also the Deputy Chair of the Gilgandra Local Aboriginal Lands Council, and has recently been appointed to NBAN’s Board.

Wakka Wakka: Patricia Conlon & Neville Conlon