Vale Mr Anderson

24 December 2018

On behalf of the President, Councillors, Executive and staff of MacDonnell Regional Council it is with great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Mr Anderson.

Mr Anderson was well known and highly regarded throughout Central Australia and particularly in the Western MacDonnell districts as a respected leader among his people.

He is widely known for his tireless advocacy and as a servant to his community of Papunya, the Luritja Pintubi Ward and the MacDonnell Regional Council.

Having worked with the Department of Local Government in the development of the shires, he became a foundation member of the MacDonnell Shire Council (as it was then called), when elected to serve as a councillor of the Luritja Pintubi Ward.

Within the first year he was appointed as Council’s principal member by his fellow elected members holding the position of President for seven years.

He was twice re-elected as the councillor of the Luritja Pintubi Ward and twice re-appointed as the President of MacDonnell Regional Council.

He stepped down as President in February 2016 to allow himself more time to focus on his local ward.

For personal reasons he retired from his service to the MacDonnell Regional Council as a councillor in May this year.

Under his leadership the MacDonnell Regional Council found its direction as a local government council and has emerged as a leader among its peers.

Central to his achievements has always been his desire to have local people delivering local services – this is reflected in MacDonnell Regional Council maintaining a consistently high Aboriginal workforce, between 75 – 80%, in real and meaningful employment.

Other achievements under his leadership include promoting and supporting the community based Aboriginal workforce into leadership roles along with delivering and improving both core and non-core local government services in 13 remote Aboriginal communities across one of the country’s largest council jurisdictions.

He defined MacDonnell Regional Council through his leadership and by his example.

“I have learnt so much from him. Over the years he has been a mentor and a confidant. Mr Anderson was always quietly spoken, but when he spoke, people listened. As a foundation member of Council, he helped set our direction and worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for aboriginal people,” MacDonnell Regional Council CEO Jeff MacLeod reflected.

Mr Anderson served on numerous representative bodies across the region and always held a special and personal focus on the Papunya Football Club and the promotion of Western Desert community football. He was a life member of the CAFL.

MacDonnell Regional Council sends it sincere condolences to the Anderson family.

Out of respect, Council operations in the communities of Papunya, Mount Liebig, Haasts Bluff and Kintore will be closed today, with the exception of its essential services.

MacDonnell Regional Council asks all services and agencies to join them in respecting the family’s privacy during the mourning period. As is the cultural practice, please refrain from mentioning his personal name and cover or remove any images of him.

Out of respect, this is the only comment MacDonnell Regional Council will make at this time.

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