Country, Culture, People, Future


Watch the highlights from the 2018 Yule River Meeting

Posted: August 14th, 2018

Filed under: , , , , , ,

The 5th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River was another extraordinary gathering bringing together more than 400 Traditional Owners from across the Pilbara to discuss issues affecting them and their families. The meeting endorsed Pilbara Aboriginal Voice (PAV), the remarkable group borne out of the 4th meeting in 2017. PAV has made significant progress working together to address issues including language preservation, remote housing, the protection of Aboriginal heritage, Constitutional Recognition, health, education, justice, and the welfare of children.

This year, the 40-strong group welcomed more than 20 new members, and was officially endorsed and recognised by both Federal and State Aboriginal Affairs Ministers Ben Wyatt and Senator Nigel Scullion and others. PAV was acknowledged as an historic union of language groups working as one voice to call on all levels of government to improve living conditions for Aboriginal West Australians.

Today and every day, we recognise Aboriginal Elder, our Deputy Co-Chairperson, Mrs Doris Eaton, for her ongoing inspirational leadership, and great vision for the Pilbara, our Aboriginal Directors, and our dedicated YMAC staff, for their contributions to the Yule River meeting.

For more information about Yule River meetings and their history, please see

Solar power hopeful says Pilbara’s potential ignored – Pilbara News

Posted: August 8th, 2018

1 August 2018

Green power hopeful Pilbara Solar has questioned a national report ·on Australia’s energy future, claiming it failed to recognise WNs solar-rich regions.

A report last month by the Austra­ lian Energy Market Operator to the Council of Australian Governments claimed coal-fired power plants would still deliver the cheapest electricity for the next
20 years.

Pilbara Solar director Richard Finlay-Jones said the report did not recognise ener­gy-intensive regions such as the Pil­bara.

“With the right support from all lev­els of government, the Pilbara has the potential to become a 100 per cent renewable, zero emissions zone with­in a decade,” he said.

To download a PDF copy of the article click here.

To view the article online click here.


Chance to train as rangers – Mid West Times

Posted: August 8th, 2018

Journalist: Geoff Vivian, 8 August 2018

The ‘ Malgana people have been invited to train to become Abor­iginal rangers at Shark Bay.

Six opportunities have been cre­ ated to study for a Certificate I and II in conservation and land man­ agement. Some of the training will take place at Shark Bay and some at Geraldton. ·

Malgana elder Benny Bellottie, who is a member of the Malgana Land and Sea Country Reference Group, is encouraging all Malgana people to apply for the traineeships which include funding for travel, tuition and meals.

Mr Bellottie said the funding would help Malgana people work towards their aspirations for the management of their land and sea country in the Shark Bay area.

“Indigenous ranger projects support Aboriginal people to com­ bine traditional knowledge with conservation training to protect and manage their land, sea and cul­ ture, and also to achieve employ­ ment and environmental outcomes, alongside wider social, cultural and economic benefits,” he said.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Cor­ poration chief executive Simon Hawkins said it was hoped the suc­ cessful applicants would go on to pursue careers as rangers.

“If you are a Malgana person who is interested in learning about conservation and land manage­ ment, and are committed to com­ pleting the qualifications, we would like to hear from you,” he said. “However, please note, if suc­ cessful in receiving one of the training spots, this does not guar­ antee any future employment.”

A new position has also been cre­ ated for a co-ordinator to facilitate, support and manage the program. Applications close on August 17. For details contact YMAC project co-ordinator Teri O’Neill on 0418115 908 or at

To download a PDF copy of the news article click here.

Western Desert people vote to improve operations

Posted: August 7th, 2018

A special general meeting (SGM) of the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (WDLAC) held on Friday 3  August 2018 accepted an amendment to rules regarding eligibility to be a member Director.

WDLAC is the Registered Native Title Body Corporate holding Martu Title on trust for the Martu people, by order of the Federal Court dated 17 July 2003.

The Martu people are recognised as one of Australia’s only Native Title groups to have exclusive use, occupation, possession and control and interests over such a large area of land.

Simon Hawkins, Acting Chief Executive of WDLAC, said to ensure reasonable opportunity for members to participate, the board called for the meeting to be held via teleconference with meeting sites at Bidyadanga, Punmu, Parnngurr, and Fitzroy Crossing.

“The WDLAC Board of Directors called the SGM to look at improving operations after an investigation into a complaint received in 2016 uncovered further mismanagement,” Mr Hawkins said.

“The findings were sent for independent advice and there is a request before the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) in relation to further investigation of the discovered issues. Changes to the rules regarding eligibility to be a member Director were carried with an 88 per cent majority and will now be reviewed by ORIC.”

Mr Hawkins is also CEO of the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), a not-for-profit organisation run by an Aboriginal Board of Directors which provides a range of services including Native Title claim and future-act representation, heritage protection services, community and economic development and natural resource management.

“YMAC provides Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBC) services to WDLAC to hold and manage native title in accordance with the objectives of the group; and in managing stakeholder interest in access, or regulation of native title land and waters, by providing a legal entity to manage and conduct the affairs of the native title holders,” Mr Hawkins said.

“It is YMAC’s mission to work with Aboriginal people to pursue recognition and acceptance of culture in Country, and a strong future for people and Country. Our focus at YMAC is apparent in everything we do – in ensuring enduring heritage and culture, resolving native title claims, and seeking outcomes that provide a strong legacy for Aboriginal people, through respect, professionalism, integrity and collaboration.”

To read the Media Statement and access the Question and Answers document, please visit the WDLAC site: Western Desert people vote to improve operations

Local Capability Fund to assist regional Aboriginal business participation

Posted: July 30th, 2018

The Local Capability Fund (LCF) – Regional Aboriginal Business round is a State Government initiative to help competitive regionally-based Aboriginal businesses to better prepare to participate as suppliers of products, services and works to State, Federal or Local Government agencies and the private sector.

This round of LCF will provide eligible Aboriginal businesses with up to $20,000 in funding to assist them to secure procurement opportunities in the public and private sectors. Funding will be provided for the following eligible activities:

  • Expert consultant services
  • Purchase and upgrade of equipment
  • Improvements to internal business infrastructure and systems
  • Training and qualifications

To view the full media statement click here or for more information about how to apply click here.




The Heart of Our Outback – Landscape and Nature Photography Prize

Posted: July 26th, 2018

Filed under: , ,

Landscape photography prize

Do you love taking photos in the Outback and want to WIN $1000?

Entries are currently open for The Heart of Our Outback – Landscape and Nature Photography Prize, presented by Create Ranger Parks with the support of the WA Photographic Federation. The competition will showcase the unique landscapes and natural beauty of WA’s Pilbara, Mid West and Gascoyne.

Create Ranger Parks is a community driven proposal to ensure protection for 5 million hectares of WA’s remarkable Outback heart. We’re proud to be a supporter of the Create Ranger Parks initiative – and entering the photo competition is one way you can get involved!

Enter your best landscape and nature images to help inspire all Western Australians and encourage the State Government to create a new national park network, managed by Indigenous rangers, for all of us to experience and enjoy.

All shortlisted entries will be exhibited from Friday 24th August until Tuesday 28th August at the Gary Holland Community Centre in Rockingham. The Premier, Mark McGowan, has been invited to open the exhibition. A grand prize of $1000 cash will be awarded to the best overall image in the exhibition.

Entries are now open and will close on Sunday 5th August.

Visit the official competition webpage to find out more about the categories and to submit your entries:

Share with your friends and get snapping! We can’t wait to see some of your fabulous images make it into the exhibition in August.

Best of luck!

Solar power offers new jobs in Pilbara projects

Posted: July 24th, 2018

The Australian newspaper followed up on our Pilbara Solar Media Statement on Wednesday 18 July 2018 interviewing our CEO Simon Hawkins and publishing an article in its Monday 23 July 2018 edition on page 6.

Read the full article here: The Australian – Pilbara Solar and YMAC

Attending the 2018 Yule River meeting L-R:  Dr Richard Finlay-Jones, Director Pilbara Solar; Kylie Chalmers, Senior Project Advisor Pilbara Solar; Senator Patrick Dodson; Raylene Button, Director Pilbara Solar

Attending the 2018 Yule River meeting L-R: Dr Richard Finlay-Jones, Director Pilbara Solar; Kylie Chalmers, Senior Project Advisor Pilbara Solar; Senator Patrick Dodson; Raylene Button, Director Pilbara Solar

Yule River 2018 Media Summary

Posted: July 20th, 2018

The 5th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River was covered by media from across the country; with more than 167 separate mentions across print, radio and television within a week. Our gallery offers a summary of the key articles that featured in the media.

AEMO estimates flawed as solar costs decline

Posted: July 18th, 2018

Filed under: , , , , ,

MEDIA STATEMENT: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 

Pilbara Solar, a 25 per cent Aboriginal owned renewable energy company, has questioned a national report on Australia’s energy future after it failed to recognise WA’s solar rich regions.

Yesterday’s report by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the nation’s independent energy market operator, to COAG, stated that ageing coal-fired power plants would still deliver the cheapest electricity for the next 20 years.

Pilbara Solar Director, and renewable energy developer, Richard Finlay-Jones, said the report did not recognise regions like the Pilbara which had one of the greatest solar resources in the world, and was one of the most energy intensive locations in the country.

“WA is the most solar rich state in the nation, and, with the right support from all levels of government, the Pilbara has the potential to become a 100 per cent renewable Zero Emissions Zone within a decade,” Dr Finlay-Jones said.

Dr Finlay-Jones said current investment in renewable energy had never been stronger in Australia, and the power source never cheaper, with states with the largest targets demonstrating the greatest investment benefits, and the cheapest power.

“Renewable energy deployment had been driving down the wholesale price of power, and wind and solar energy is now cheaper than coal and diesel,” Dr Finlay-Jones said.

“The AEMO report to COAG actually states that Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates about 90 per cent of the $88bn forecast spent on adding power capacity in Australia will be outlaid on clean energy.

“It is imperative that regions like the Pilbara are recognised among the greatest solar resources in the world.”

Pilbara Solar is 25 per cent owned by the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), which YMAC Chief Executive, Simon Hawkins, said represented Traditional Owners whose lands covered one million square kilometres in WA with some of the best solar resources in the world.

Read the media statement here: AEMO estimates flawed