Indigenous Affairs Minister Senator Nigel Scullion has paid tribute to Tiwi elder Mr Kerinaiua, who passed away yesterday.
“Mr Kerinaiua was a highly respected Tiwi elder, who over many years worked tirelessly to develop economic opportunities for his people”, Minister Scullion said.
“As a founder and chairman of the Tiwi Land Council, Mr Kerinaiua was the driving force behind many of the economic advances in the Tiwi Islands, including the founding and development of the eight Tiwi Trust Corporations which attracted multi-million dollar investments in the management and development of Tiwi land.
“Mr Kerinaiua also helped develop such diverse industries as tourism, aquaculture and fisheries to ensure employment for Tiwi people.
“Additionally, his commitment to education and young Tiwi people was demonstrated by his close involvement with a number of Tiwi organisations, including the Tiwi Health, Training and Education boards.
I had the honour of working with Mr Kerinaiua over the years and found him a great role model for his community and a statesman who was able to unite the community. My enduring memory of Mr Kerinaiua was his strong belief in his own people and that no challenge was insurmountable for them.
I extend my sincere condolences to Mr Kerinaiua’s family and friends. We have lost a strong Tiwi man and great Australian,” Minister Scullion said.
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Kerinaiua media release.pdf