Historic Executive Director Appointment

Release Date: 
28 September 2018
Media release

The Australian Government announced today that Ms Pennie Weedon will commence as Executive Director of Township Leasing for a three year appointment.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion welcomed the appointment of Ms Weedon, who has been acting in the role since February following the retirement of the former Executive Director, Mr Greg Roche.

“This is a welcome announcement and I cannot think of anyone who is more qualified or deserving of this role,” Minister Scullion said.

“Ms Weedon is a proud Indigenous woman and the first female Indigenous leader with statutory responsibilities for land tenure and management in the Northern Territory.

“She has a deep understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture and the importance of economic development in remote communities.

“Her inspiration and determination to empower Indigenous Australians in the Township Leasing area has been inspired and motivated from the trust bestowed on her from her mother, Pennie’s two sons, and all her family.

“She is highly regarded for her relationships with Indigenous Traditional Owners and stakeholders on the ground, supported by her leadership skills and engagement with government and industry experts.”

Ms Weedon is a long-standing Commonwealth public servant and founding Director of the Office of the Executive Director of Township Leasing (the Office). She has been in that role in the Northern Territory since 2008 and was fundamental in establishing the Office.

Ms Weedon has supported the execution and administration of three township leases over six communities, and the successful expansion of township leasing in 2017, with three further township leases executed under a new model of local empowerment through community entity township leasing.

The Executive Director has an important role in transitioning leases to the new model and being a provider of professional services to community entities.

“I am really looking forward to working with Ms Weedon as the Executive Director of Township Leasing,” Minister Scullion said.

The position of the Executive Director of Township Leasing is established under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (the Act).The Executive Director’s primary function is to sign Township Leases on behalf of the Australian Government, then manage the land in accordance with the terms of the Township Lease in partnership with the Traditional Owners.

Section 20CA of the Act provides for the Executive Director to enter into and administer leases or sub-leases on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory on behalf of the Australian Government. The Office of Township Leasing (OTL) administers Township Leases on behalf of the Executive Director.