In 2002, the Northern Territory Government (NTG) was newly elected and facing a significant challenge. The challenge was particularly problematic for a government inheriting a highly politicised and contested environment around land issues, yet promising to repair relations with Aboriginal interests by promoting self-determination and Aboriginal employment. As part of this commitment, the new government had decided to establish an office within the Chief Minister’s department to coordinate the new approach.
When the new Chief Minister, Clare Martin, tapped Neil Westbury on the shoulder to head up the new office, she knew that she was gaining a highly experienced and pragmatic bureaucrat who brought strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a track record of delivering.
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