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West Arnhem Regional Council elects new Mayor - James Woods

21 March 2024

The West Arnhem Regional Council duly elected Councillor James Woods as the new Mayor at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 20 March.


Mayor Woods has assumed the role from former Mayor Matthew Ryan who resigned from Council following his successful appointment as Chair of the Northern Land Council.


Mayor Woods has served the Maningrida community for over eight years as the longest serving chairperson for the Maningrida Local Authority.


He was elected as Councillor of the Maningrida Ward at the 2021 Local Government Election and has been a strong advocate for improved services in remote communities.


Mayor Woods represents his community and the wider region on a number of different Boards and committees.


He is a current Board member of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT), a member of the Defence Force, the Deputy Unit Officer for Emergency Services in Maningrida and the chairperson for the Maningrida AFL Committee.


Mayor Woods said he looks forward to working with his fellow Elected Members to create a brighter future for the constituents of West Arnhem Land.


Elected Members and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Walsh congratulated Mayor Woods on his appointment and look forward to working with him in the position for the remainder of the Council term.

At the Council meeting, Elected Members also extended their gratitude to the former Mayor, presenting Matthew with a special gift to recognise his dedication and service to the constituents of the West Arnhem Communities.


As he accepted the gift, Matthew reflected on Council’s journey and the achievements along the way, particularly the successes in empowerment and advocacy for remote communities.


He also acknowledged the promising future ahead for the West Arnhem region.


Matthew served as a Councillor for the Maningrida Ward since 2008 and as Mayor since 2017.


During his tenure as Mayor, he served with a fierce passion and strong voice in the fight for positive change for Aboriginal people. His tireless efforts have helped shape a better future for all.