To ensure the independence of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, the operations of the Authority are overseen by a 12-member board.

In accordance with traditional law it would be culturally inappropriate for men to make decisions about women’s sites as it would be inappropriate for women to consider men’s sites, and so the Board comprises five male and five female Aboriginal custodians nominated by Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Councils, together with two Government appointees.

The Board meets at least four times each year, in Darwin, Alice Springs and occasionally in regional parts of the Northern Territory. 

Board members are appointed by the Administrator of the Northern Territory for three-year terms and may be reappointed. The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board are nominated by the Board and also appointed by the Administrator. They must be of opposite gender.

The staff of the Authority are appointed under section 17 of the Sacred Sites Act and the Chief Executive Officer is a statutory officer appointed by the Administrator of the Northern Territory.

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible under the Financial Management Act for managing the day-to-day operations of the Authority and carries delegated responsibilities from the Board.



Bobby Nunggumajbarr
Region: Roper Basin
First appointed : 29 September 2015
Re-appointed : 2 November 2021

Mr Bobby Nunggumajbarr is a senior Nunggubuyu man from Numbulwar in south-eastern Arnhem Land. Mr Nunggumajbarr sits on the Full Council of the Northern Land Council (NLC) and the NT Aboriginal Investment Grants Commitee.

Region: Yuendumu Hinterland
First appointed : 2 August 2016
Re-appointed: 11 May 2023

Ms Valerie Martin is a senior Warlpiri woman from Yuendumu and has served as the Deputy Chairperson on the AAPA Board since 2016. Ms Martin is also an executive member of the Central Land Council.

Region: Arnhem Land West
First appointed: 26 April 2006
Re-appointed: 2 November 2021

Ms Jenny Inmulugulu is a traditional owner of Warruwi on South Goulburn Island. She served as Deputy Chair on the AAPA Board from 2008-2012. Ms Inmulugulu is a member of Full Council of the Northern Land Council.

Region: Tiwi Islands
First appointed : 31 August 2015
Re-appointed 24 August 2021

Mr Walter Kerinauia Junior is from the Mantiyupwi clan group and is one of the senior 'culture men' on the Tiwi Islands. He has served on the Tiwi Islands Regional Council and is a past Director of Mantiyupwi Pty Ltd.

Region: Alice Springs 
First appointed : 27 March 2019
Re-appointed 1 June 2021

Ms Barbara Shaw is the inaugural chair of the NT Aboriginal Investment Corporation. She is also a former Deputy Chair of the Central Land Council (CLC), and current Executive Member.

Neville Petrick
Region: Plenty River Basin
First appointed: 27 March 2019
Re-appointed 1 June 2021

Mr Neville Petrick is from McDonald Downs in the Northern Territory and is the Executive Council representative on the Central Land Council for the Eastern Plenty region. He speaks Alyawarr, Arrernte and English.

Ms Jennifer yantarrnga
Region: Arnhem Land East
First appointed : 24 August 2021

Ms Jennifer Yantarrnga is a respected elder of the Yantarrnga Clan of Umbakumba, Groote Eylandt. Ms Yantarrnga is heavily involved in general community liaison.

Lorraine Jones
Region: Victoria River Basin
First appointed : 24 August 2021

Ms Lorraine Jones is a community leader and traditional owner from Timber Creek. She represents the Victoria River District on the Northern Land Council (NLC) Executive Council.

Region: Barkly Central
First appointed : 2 November 2021

Mr Christopher Neade is a Waanyi man from the Barkly Tablelands and lives in Elliot. He was elected to the Northern Land Council in 2016.

Geoffrey Matthews
Region: VRD/Barkly West
First appointed: 11 May 2023

Mr Geoffrey Matthews was born on Mount Doreen Station, around 300 kilometres north west of Alice Springs. He has worked as an Aboriginal community police officer and as a liaison officer for the Central Land Council’s anthropology team.

Portrait of Nigel Browne
Government appointment
First appointed : 13 July 2021

Mr Nigel Browne is a descendent of the Larrakia and Wulna peoples. He has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Larrakia Development Corporation since 2013 and is chair of the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence.

Portrait of Amy Dennison
Government appointment
First appointed : 13 July 2021

Ms Amy Dennison is the Executive Director of the Environment Regulation Division in the Department of Parks, Environment and Water Security. She was the Acting Chief Executive of the AAPA during 2019-2020.

Dr Benedict Scambary

Dr Scambary was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority in January 2008. He is an anthropologist with more than thirty years of experience working with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.