Dean Munuggullumurr Yibarbuk was born in 1955 near the Tomkinson River, in Central Arnhem Land. Two years after Dean’s birth the Government established a settlement nearby at Maningrida which today is a regional centre for small indigenous communities in the region. He is a traditional owner of Djinkarr, near Maningrida. Dean’s language is Gurrgoni.
Dean has taken a prominent leadership role in developing contemporary land management programs to deal with conservation issues on Aboriginal land. A driving force behind the development of the Djelk rangers at Maningrida, Dean is also a senior ranger. He has also been a chairman of both Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and DEMED Association.
Dean is currently a representative for West Arnhem region on the Northern Land Council full council. He has been a key figure in the development of Warddeken Land Management Limited, the declaration of the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area and the development of a ground-breaking use of traditional knowledge of savannah burning practices to deal with climate change.
Dean is the Secretary of Warddeken Land Management Limited, a not-for-profit established to support a movement back to country linked to critical conservation issues. He has travelled widely in Australia and overseas to speak on fire management and other conservation issues.
Dean also is also founding director of the Aboriginal Research Practitioners’ Network (ARPnet) hosted by Charles Darwin University (CDU) and is currently working as the Mentor and Engagement Officer for the Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative in both Maningrida and Gunbalanya.
Dean has participated in a number of conference and projects; below are some links that illustrate his involvements: