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Outstanding regional and rural leadership


The sad loss of a leader

The sad loss of a leader
IMAGE: Whiteboard sketch by Doodie Alan Lawford: My mob and leadership at gathering of Indigenous graduates, Alice Springs 2008.
The Foundation woke to sad news this morning, as we learned that Fellow of ARLP Course 14 and Indigenous leader, Doodie ‘Alan' Lawford has passed away.
Our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences are with his family, and his many friends.
Many of our Network knew Doodie personally, and many more knew of him through his work as Bohemia Downs Station Manager for the land he loved and the younger generations it nurtures.
He and his wife, Selena Omeara lived a rich life together, that is captured within this article series: A Rich Past and a Hopeful Future.
Part one:
Part two:
"The richness that can be described in Doodie and Selena’s lives is more of the other meanings the dictionary gives to the adjective, that funnily enough relate to the basics in life. Rich in food, colour, culture, land, natural resources, sounds, fragrance, sense of humour, and fund ofstories. Bohemia Downs Station surrounds and the people are rich in all of these things.”
We know that Doodie’s cohort peers from Course 14 are in close communication following this distressing loss.

"All of us are very saddened by his passing and that we won’t see his bright light and ever-rascally ways anymore. Our thoughts are with his Selena and his family, his community and all of the people who loved him and knew him as a generous, thoughtful, determined and inspired man. It is a terrible loss to them and to all of us too. Vale Doodie, we will miss you." Barb Madden, Course 14.

And for Alana Johnson, also of Course 14, she recalls the role Doodie played in the core value of her ARLP experience:

"I have no understanding of  the pain or sadness or internal anguish that becomes so intense that  it takes your life – but I do feel deep sorrow of this happening for Doodie and also for his family. I shed tears as I recall that Doodie helped me to understand and feel a connection to Australia and it’s first people. It was a gift to me that has had a deep affect on my life and was the most significant learning of the ARLP for me.

I remember Doodie sharing with us the story of his beautiful painting of his women ancestors. I was able to hear and begin to understand the spirit of the land and of the past being so alive in his life. Doodie knew about being part of something more profound than this life… so we should know he is still with us, with his family, with his country. Doodie will not cease to exist as long as he continues to be remembered. Like that stone tossed in the pool at the Mimbi caves, the ripples of Doodie’s life will continue. My love and thoughts are with you all."


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