“I am a Traditional Owner for Gapuwiyak and I am proud to have the trust of my people and to represent them in decisions concerning ALPA”

Jason Butjala joined the ALPA Board as an Associate Director from Gapuwiyak in 2012 and was later selected as the Traditional Landowner’s Representative in 2018.

Jason first worked for ALPA Store in Gapuwiyak, starting in 1997 for ‘work experience’ when he was just 15 years old. Later, when Jason moved into paid employment with the ALPA Store, he became a Supervisor.

“I learned a lot of new skills through the Store, like driving a fork lift, driving a big truck towing a trailer to the barge landing, bringing all the produce back to the store, then unloading those pallets.”, he says.

“I was the first Indigenous person to be awarded a Certificate IV in Retail and I felt a bit proud about that.”.

Jason says that being an ALPA Director, representing Gapuwiyak Traditional Owners, means he translates their interests [into English] and communicates that to the Board, and he does the same in reverse, keeping everyone he represents abreast of what is going on within ALPA.

Jason Butjala currently is a CDP Supervisor in Gapuwiyak and became a Director for Milindji Corporation in 2019 to encourage local business-making decisions with the trust of his people.

His partner is Megan Ganambarr and they are parents to their adopted son, Bradley.