Waanyi PBC Vice Chairman Henry Aplin was born on Gregory Station in 1951. Henry attended school in Burketown through his early years, but returned to Doomadgee around the age of 10 together with his family, where he continues to live to this day. At the age of 15 Henry joined Arthur Anderson to work as a drover. It was during this time that Henry developed his love and deep knowledge of his country, and the wider Gulf.
In 1976, Henry joined other Indigenous leaders at the Tent Embassy in Canberra, and was an instrumental part of the ultimately successful fight for Land Rights around Lawn Hill and Gregory.
As an elder of the community and of the Waanyi people, Henry’s focus is directed at ensuring land access and rights are maintained for all Waanyi people into the future. Despite having a mixed relationship with pastoralists around Lawn Hill, Henry still believes his role is about starting conversations and building relationships with all parties involved – and making sure his people are heard.
As head of the Doomadgee Rodeo committee, Henry is the driving force behind the Doomadgee Rodeo ground upgrade. As the PBC’s point of contact on the ground, Henry acts to oversee the upgrades and make decisions on specific work projects.
Henry has previously been a Waanyi representative on the Carpentaria Land Council board, a position he held for more than 10 years.
“We want a better deal for our people. We want access to our Land, and we want support for our community.”
– Henry Aplin, Vice Chairman
Waanyi PBC Board Member Claudette Albert is a staunch advocate and supporter of women’s issues in Doomadgee for all, which is complimented by her role as Supervisor at MyPathways women’s group.Claudette was born in 1974, and grew up with her family attending school in Doomadgee. After moving to Normanton to pursue work opportunities, Claudette was enticed back when she saw the need for a strong female presence in the Doomadgee community – and now focuses on creating an inclusive organisation for all families in Doomadgee.
In Doomadgee, Claudette’s role sees her building relationships and helping families through her position at MyPathways. As the only woman on the PBC Board, Claudette believes representing all women in the community is her main priority, and not just Waanyi women. Communicating the issues that matter to the women of the community, as well as hearing their issues and reporting back to the board are a critical part of her role.As a women’s group Supervisor at MyPathways, Claudette is the first point of contact for many of the communities families who may not be represented officially under the PBC. Hearing their concerns, and acting to address them is a way in which Claudette believes will create real change for the less fortunate.
“The community is changing, and people are starting to see it. We are trying to help out all families, not just one particular family. We want to help the disadvantaged mob, who never got a say in anything before.” – Claudette Albert, Board Member
Waanyi PBC Board Member Darren Gregory was born in Mt Isa in 1976, and has lived as part of the community ever since. Darren grew up and attended school in Doomadgee, and now works at MyPathways and the Doomadgee Roadhouse. In his role as a PBC Board Member, Darren focusses on the issues affecting the community’s youth, and how to improve education and job outcomes.
Prior to becoming involved with the Waanyi PBC board, Darren was concerned at what he saw as a lack of transparency and responsibility within the community. He chose then to get involved and make the change he saw was needed, and now champions the open and engaging approach of the current PBC board.Darren’s focus is squarely on the youth of Doomadgee, and improving their chances of success within their community.
By building and creating youth focussed activities and outlets, such as a Rodeo School and sports competitions, he believes many of the issues the community faces today could be addressed. Sport, together with improving access to Dreamtime stories and traditional cultural education are the two programs Darren will focus on.
“Giving the young people an outlet to express themselves through sport is, in my opinion, the best way to make sure we are taking care of their futures.” – Darren Gregory, Board Member