The Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation would like to announce the appointment of John Hughes as new Chief Executive Officer of the Rirratjingu group of companies, including Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, Rirratjingu Mining Ltd, Bunuwal Investments Pty Ltd and Bunuwal Fuel. John took up the position in late December.

RAC Chairman Bakamumu Marika was very pleased with this appointment.

He said “The next few years will be critical for the Rirratjingu Aboriginal Corporation, and the Board followed a robust selection process for this important role. We were able to choose from a good number of quality candidates.  John is well-placed to take the Rirratjingu group of companies forward, given his recent experience working for government statutory organisations and for Aboriginal Corporations”. 

John worked for 18 years in private commercial and public legal practice, including at NAALAS (now NAAJA) and the NLC, before turning to management, most recently in Western Australia as CEO of Mirriuwung Gajerrong Corporation in the Kimberley and then of Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation in the Pilbara.  John is committed to capturing the opportunities promised by native title and NT Aboriginal land rights for Aboriginal group self-determination and for individual empowerment, and John is keen to build the corporate strategy of the Rirratjingu group of companies. 

Bakumumu added, “I would much like to thank Saheel Shah for fulfilling the role of acting CEO during the recruitment process.  Saheel returns to his finance portfolio and has handed John a very healthy group of companies”.

While recruiting the new CEO during the latter part of 2018, the Board was also implementing a range of reviews and adopting a new Strategic Plan.  Over the Christmas-New Year period John has been absorbing a myriad of information and is now relishing the opportunity to build relationships with staff, Directors and advisers, Rirratjingu members, and with our stakeholders in the wider community.

Hughes said “This will be one of the most interesting and satisfying roles in my career.  I am keen to put into effect the Directors’ plans to reposition the Rirratjingu group for a future after bauxite mining.  The traditional owner groups and the business and government communities here are welcoming.  They are open-minded and oriented towards progress, and they are already making the most of the many opportunities for business collaboration and to build healthy lives here in East Arnhem region. This is a very good time to be working from the Rirratjingu offices at Yirrkala, overlooking the spectacular Yirrkala bay”. 

CEO John Hughes