Country, Culture, People, Future

2010

YMAC Christmas Office Hours

Posted: December 20th, 2010

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Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation offices in Perth, Geraldton, Karratha, South Hedland and Tom Price will be closed during the festive season from Friday, 24 December 2010, re-opening on Tuesday, 4 January 2011.


YMAC’s Board of Directors, Pilbara and Yamatji Regional Committees, management and staff would like to wish all members a happy and safe festive season.

Meet a YMAC Director

Posted: December 13th, 2010

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Roy Bellotti – YMAC Director

Roy is a Malgana man who has lived and worked in the Gascoyne region all his life.

Roy has deep connections to the world heritage listed Shark Bay area, where his grandmother and father were both born.

He enjoys the outdoors and regularly camps, hunts and fishes on his country.

He has been a member of the Yamatji Region Executive Committee since November 2004 and YMAC’s Chairperson since February 2008. Roy is well known in the community for his leadership capacity and ability to unite people.

Nyiyaparli Sign Agreement for Iron Valley Project

Posted: December 1st, 2010

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In Tom Price this week, the Nyiyaparli people signed a Land Access Deed with Iron Ore Holdings Ltd (IOH) that delivers important protection for country and support to the Iron Valley project.


Nyiyaparli country is situated in the central Pilbara region of Western Australia and covers approximately 36,684 square kilometres of land, including the mining town of Newman.


The agreement, which covers the Iron Valley project, provides a range of benefits to the Nyiyaparli people including contracting opportunities, cross cultural awareness training for IOH employees and a rigorous framework for agreement implementation. More importantly the agreement provides for consultation on environmental and heritage matters, which allows the Nyiyaparli people to retain their rights under Aboriginal heritage and environment legislation in order to protect areas of cultural and environmental significance.


The Nyiyaparli people, represented by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), are now looking to build upon the spirit of cooperation and good faith they developed with IOH during the agreement negotiation process.


Simon Hawkins, CEO, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, said the agreement was an example of a mining company working cooperatively and negotiating in good faith with Traditional Owners. “The Nyiyaparli people appreciated the company’s willingness to sit down and negotiate with the group. The next step is to build on this relationship and see the agreement successfully implemented.”

Meet a YMAC Director

Posted: November 30th, 2010

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Peter Windie – Yamatji Chairperson

Peter is a Thudgari man who played an integral leadership role in his people’s native title determination in 2009. Peter lives in Gascoyne Junction and is a well respected community leader is the region. He is chairman of the Windi Mia Aboriginal Corporation, which is currently pursuing possible tourism and pastoral ventures in the Yamatji region.


Peter is passionate about country and how deeply Aboriginal people are spiritually connected to the land.

Meet a YMAC Director

Posted: November 10th, 2010

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Nora Cooke
Nora is an Ngarla woman who played an integral role in her people’s native title determination in 2007.

Nora enjoys the bush life in the Pilbara, including fishing, camping, cooking and hunting. Nora has an in-depth understanding of bush medicine and provides advice to people seeking bush medicine treatments. She also practices her culture by teaching several Aboriginal languages and running cultural awareness training at mine sites and the Wangka Maya Language Centre.
To Nora, country means to live freely on the land, gathering food and hunting.

Aboriginal enterprise for Coral Bay

Posted: October 29th, 2010

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BAC Representatives with YMAC’s Co-Chairperson Roy Bellotti and CEO Simon Hawkins



An agreement signed this week between the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls, will allow for the development of much-needed housing for permanent workers and business owners in Coral Bay.
Involving the transfer of 30ha of land near the town centre, the agreement will enable the BAC to develop accommodation for people who live and work locally. The BAC has also agreed to lease a portion of the land back to the State Government, for the new seasonal staff accommodation facility planned for Coral Bay.
BAC Project Director, Noel Bridge, said it had taken several years of quality and focused work by the Corporation to reach a successful outcome. 
“Coral Bay is a stunning tourism destination, but the development of infrastructure has not kept up with demand.  The lack of quality housing for workers and business owners has made it very difficult to attract and retain staff.
Mr Bridge said the BAC had received support from the Gnulli Native Title Working Group and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, and had worked effectively with the WA Department for Regional Development and Land to reach this successful outcome.
Paul Baron Gnulli Working Group Chairman said the agreement would allow Traditional Owners to maintain their connection to their land, create jobs, economic development, and enhance the local community.
“These types of projects have the added advantage of giving visitors the chance to share Baiyungu land and culture,” he said.

Finland university students learn about WA Native Title

Posted: October 21st, 2010

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Sanna Nalder, our Geraldton-based Anthropologist, was recently invited to give two lectures at the Giellagas Institute at University of Oulu, Finland. Sanna spoke about WA Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage with Giellagas Institute researchers, staff and students of  Sami culture and language, anthropology, history and teaching.

Despite the cultural, geographical and historical differences,  Sanna says there there are similar concerns, sense of importance and responsibility shared by Finland’s Indigenous people, the Sami, when it comes to rights to land and cultural heritage protection.

The audience was interested in Australian Aboriginal culture in general as well as the research practices in Native Title and the high standard of proof required to prove that Native Title exists. As there is increasing mining interest in Finnish Lapland, the heritage protection practices used in Western Australia were also discussed.

Sanna will keep in touch with the staff at the institute and continue the discussion and exchange of ideas.
Links to Uni of Oulu:
http://www.oulu.fi/english/

Giellagas Institute:
http://www.oulu.fi/giellagas/en/index.html

Native Title Railway Agreement to Protect Rock Art

Posted: October 2nd, 2010

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This week Palyku native title claimants and Hancock Prospecting announced an agreement over the company’s proposed heavy haulage rail line to connect their Roy Hill project with Port Hedland.

The agreement provides financial and non-financial benefits, including payments to be used for protecting and managing the cultural heritage values relating to the Woodstock Abydos Reserve, one of the richest rock art centres in the world.

“In the negotiations, we made it clear that we don’t want any of our special places to be disturbed,” said Terry Jaffrey, a Palyku elder. “Hancock has agreed to avoid all sacred sites, and to provide funds to protect the Woodstock Abydos heritage listed area.”
The agreement also specifies a portion of the financial benefits to be used for an employment, training and education program and a Health and Elderly Support Fund. These programs are in addition to Hancock’s commitment to implement a Pilbara Indigenous Employment policy, and provide contracting preferences for Pilbara Indigenous companies.

“To us it’s a very important place,” said Jaffrey. “I spent most of my time over the last decade dealing with mining companies, looking after it, and I’ll keep on looking after it. That’s why we have to work with Hancock to make sure they don’t disturb anything. It’s very important to me and to our children’s children.”

This agreement with the Palyku people is the latest to be signed by Hancock over its rail corridor, which will affect several native title claims.

Traditional Owners sign Rail Agreement with Hancock Prospecting

Posted: August 27th, 2010

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Hancock Prospecting’s Tad Watroba with Kariyarra elders Lena Alone and Elsie Williams.  

The Kariyarra native title group today announced a native title agreement with Hancock Prospecting. The agreement covers the company’s proposed heavy haulage railway corridor to carry iron ore from its Roy Hill Project to Port Hedland.

The agreement provides a range of financial and non-financial benefits to the Kariyarra people, aimed at protecting the Kariyarra people’s cultural heritage and promoting their economic development. The Kariyarra people will continue to have a say in protecting their heritage sites throughout the planning and development of the project. Hancock has committed to working with the Kariyarra people to try to avoid damaging any cultural heritage sites.
“As Kariyarra People we do everything we can to protect and look after our country,” said Donny Wilson, a Kariyarra elder. “We’re glad to have entered into an agreement with Hancock to try to make sure that their railway doesn’t go through any of our important places.”