Ricky Buchanan hopes to be a voice for the community on Nambucca Valley Council

Ricky Buchanan at the AECG office.


RICKY Buchanan, a proud Gumbaynggirr man from Bowraville, is running in the Nambucca Valley Council elections in December.

Mr Buchanan is very active across the community, working across many areas to help the Gumbaynggirr community to have a voice and feel supported throughout the Valley and beyond.

His work sees him involved in many different areas.

Currently this includes working in TAFE education teaching Gumbaynggirr language, running a youth leadership program, and working alongside the Roads to Home project with the Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC).

In 2020 Mr Buchanan was awarded the NSW Health Volunteer of the Year award for the Mid North Coast Health District for his work as the Chairperson for the Aboriginal Reference Group at Macksville Hospital.

News Of The Area (NOTA) spoke to Mr Buchanan, asking him why he is running for Councillor this year.

Mr Buchanan said, “A few reasons really.

“I guess one is that I don’t see enough representation of Aboriginal people in positions like that.

“We have Uncle Martin (Ballangarry) but that is one of nine that we have.

“I don’t think that is a high enough representation.

“I’d like it to be more than that.

“Uncle Martin told me that I would be a good person to be on council, he said I’ve got the right kind of thinking for the job.”

NOTA asked Mr Buchanan what it is about him that would make him suitable for Councillor he said, “I’m a bit of a people person, I can talk to most people easily.

“I think that is something that is really good for someone going into council.

“Rhonda Hoban has also asked me to run for council, she said she thought I would be good at it.

At just 26-years-old, Mr Buchanan isn’t your average Council candidate.

“A lot of people have mentioned to me that it would be great to see someone in my age bracket in council.

“To bring a new perspective.

“I’m someone who is out in the community, people know who I am.

“I think that it is good for councillors to be known and approachable.

“I’d like to be that someone who everyone feels comfortable approaching to speak to about their concerns.”

Of key importance to Mr Buchanan is, “Better communication with everyone in the Nambucca Valley about Council and what it does, how decisions are made, about process.”

“I want to start conversations with people.

“I would like people to feel comfortable talking to the Council and asking questions.

“I aim to plant the seed to have something start and grow to benefit everyone.

“I’d like to be a voice for the community.”

Some key priorities for Mr Buchanan are:

  • Increasing the level of education around culture, cultural protocols and the respect of nature and sacred sites.
  • Adapting policies to suit the sustainable management of businesses and natural resources.
  • Improve social and emotional wellbeing for the whole community, “For example the Meat Works closed in Macksville, and a lot of people lost their job and that impacted the community quite a fair bit…if there were more opportunities there would be a few more people in jobs.”
  • To work with the Council to include more environmentally sustainable practices.



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