UPDATED June 25th 2024

The immediate family have permitted the use of imagery of the Rev Dr D Gondarra OAM. Interviews are also welcomed by the family to pay tribute. For enquiries please email [email protected]

Protocols and permitted imagery are available for media upon request.

Arrangements for a memorial service in Darwin will be underway upon the family's direction. We will update our community members in the future.

June 20th 2024

It is with deep sorrow that the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) announced the passing of our long-term Chairperson, Rev Dr D. Gondarra OAM earlier this week. In consultation with his family and respectful of his wishes to respect Yolŋu cultural protocols, information of his passing was embargoed, but can now be made public. He peacefully passed away on Tuesday, June 18th. 

Serving as ALPA Chairperson for 30 years from 1993- 2023, a position he held until his retirement, Mr Gondarra was a highly respected leader of the Dhurili Nation Clan and Yolŋu people across Arnhem Land advocating for Indigenous human rights and social equality.

During his term he led ALPA from a retail organisation with just 8 small stores, that was in a financially precarious position with limited resources, to the largest and most diverse Aboriginal Corporation in Australia, his contribution cannot be understated in the corporation’s development and the service the Corporation offers its members.

His ability to operate cross-culturally and connect with all peoples globally saw him sought out by Government and industry alike from around the country. Rev Dr D. Gondarra OAM was the first ordained Yolŋu Minister in the Uniting Church in Australia on the 24th of November 1976. He was also the Uniting Church Northern Synod Moderator (Territory leader) from 1985- to 1987 before stepping down from the Church to start his own business in the mid-1990s.

Rev Dr D. Gondarra OAM was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 1995 for services to the Uniting Church. He was awarded a Doctorate from the World University Round Table in Arizona in 1991 for literature recognised for his publications in Christian and cross-cultural education.

He dedicated his life selflessly to the service of his people and to advancing the cause of First Nations people from across the nation and the world. His leadership and commitment to improving the social and economic well-being of First Nations people was immeasurable.

His legacy will forever remain in the hearts and minds of everyone that he engaged with and motivates us to continue the important work he started.

ALPA CEO Alastair King and long-time friend and colleague of Rev Dr D. Gondarra, say, "he is remembered for his tireless work on the national and international stage fighting for the rights of and recognition of First Nations people. His legacy will live on at ALPA because we have diversified and grown because of his leadership and guidance and we will continue to honour his vision." 

Rev Dr. D. Gondarra OAM is survived by his eldest sister Rose, his children, and grandchildren. The ALPA Board of Directors and ALPA team extend our deepest condolences to his family & the wider community, we know his leadership and wisdom touched many.