Country, Culture, People, Future


Strong Women On Country

Posted: May 18th, 2018

According to the ‘Strong Women On Country’ report, the case for growth of Indigenous ranger and Indigenous Protected Area programs is compelling. The case studies in the report demonstrate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls are taking advantage of opportunities through land and sea management to further express and develop their strength, confidence and leadership.

The report also outlines the achievements of women protecting nature, demonstrating empowerment through their land and sea management careers, sustaining culture and strengthening communities. Each case study demonstrates the integrated benefits of Indigenous ranger jobs and Indigenous Protected Areas for women, their communities and every Australian.

To read the Strong Women On Country report click here.


Aboriginal Heritage Act Workshops

Posted: May 14th, 2018

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has announced a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, the legislation responsible for preserving and protecting Aboriginal Heritage in Western Australia. The release of the Consultation Paper marks the commencement of a three-phase public consultation process that will ultimately lead to the introduction of a new Aboriginal heritage legislation into the Western Australian Parliament. Community meetings and stakeholder workshops will be held across regional WA and in Perth throughout May 2018.

To find out more about the location of the workshops click here.


Two native title wins this week!

Posted: April 27th, 2018

Filed under: , , , , , ,

This has been a week of celebration for YMAC’s Traditional Owner stakeholders.

On Monday 23 April 2018, the Wajarri Yamatji community celebrated the recognition of its second determination of native title (called the Part B Determination) by the Federal Court of Australia. This determination follows the Part A Determination that was made by the Federal Court in October 2017 over approximately 68,743 square kilometres of land and waters. The Part B Determination recognised the native title of the Wajarri community over an area of approximately 12,252 square kilometres of land and waters in the Murchison and Gascoyne regions. It includes parts of the Shires of Upper Gascoyne, Murchison, Yalgoo, Meekatharra and Cue. The determination covers unallocated Crown land, Aboriginal-held pastoral leases and a number of Aboriginal reserves and communities.

On Thursday 26 April 2018, the Robe River Kuruma community celebrated recognition of its native title at an on-Country Federal Court hearing at Parlapuuni (Panawonica Hill). The determination area includes the middle Robe, the Bungaroo Valley and the Buckland Ranges. The determination area lies in the Shire of Ashburton in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, with Part B covering approximately 5,720 square kilometres.

Read YMAC’s media releases for more information on both determinations.

To watch the KM Determination Part B video by Ngaarda Media click here. To view the photos click here.

YMAC News Issue 35

Posted: April 23rd, 2018

The latest edition of the YMAC newsletter is available for viewing online. Read about:

  • The Malgana Shark Bay People’s Native Title Claim Group successful application for State Government funding for the “Pathway to a Malgana Country
    Land and Sea Management Program”.
  • An alternative settlement of native title claims involving Southern Yamatji, Hutt River, Mullewa Wadjari and Widi Mob claim groups. It is hoped that these negotiations with the State of WA will lead to an agreement called the Geraldton Alternative Settlement Agreement (GASA).
  • Changes to the Pilbara and Yamatji Regional Committees and welcome the new members.

As always, there’s a lot happening. In 2018 we hope to progress six native title claims to determination in both the Yamatji and Pilbara regions. We are also busy
planning the Annual On-Country Bush Meeting (Yule River) which is happening on 11 and 12 July – hope to see you there!

Access the online newsletter using this link: YMAC News 35.

The print versions are due to be posted to YMAC members this week. Keep an eye out for it in your mailbox.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders Program

Posted: April 19th, 2018

Milparanga is a leadership development program, formerly known as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders Program (NATSILP). It is an 11-day, two session program, with the first session taking place in a regional location and the second session taking place in Canberra. Milparanga is for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who are 21 years or older.

There are full scholarships available (Australian Government), as well as placements for those who obtain their own funding.

A Milparanga scholarship is worth $12,500 plus GST. This includes all accommodation, meals, on course travel, and equipment. Participants may be responsible for a small component of their travel to and from major transport services. The participant contribution is $200 plus GST towards program costs and for lifetime membership of the Network of Fellows of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. They may also be responsible for a small component of their travel to and from major transport services.

For more information click here.

First transfer of land to Kariyarra people

Posted: April 5th, 2018

The Kariyarra people are proud to announce that the State Government has approved the transfer of two lots of unallocated Crown land as part of the historic Kariyarra and State of Western Australia Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) that was signed in September 2017.Key benefits to be delivered under the ILUA include:

  • houses in South and Port Hedland,
  • management Order for several reserves for the use and benefit of Aboriginal people, both town based and further away in the claim area, and
  • financial benefits.

The transfer of this land is the first parcels of land to be transferred under the Agreement to the Kariyarra.

To view the full media release click here

Indigenous groups and country to benefit from A$21 million 10 Deserts Project

Posted: March 28th, 2018

An exciting new Indigenous land management collaboration across Australia’s desert country has been launched today at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

The 10 Deserts Project led by Desert Support Services (DSS) and enabled by the BHP Billiton Foundation aims to build the capacity of Indigenous groups to look after country for a range of economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.

“The 10 Deserts region is vast, spanning 2.7 million square kilometres, or one-third of Australia,” Mr Peter See, DSS spokesperson said. “Indigenous land management will be supported at a local and regional level, complemented by a representative structure for Indigenous land managers designed to be effective into the future.”

For more information about the project visit the 10 Deserts website

To view the full media release click here

To view the 10 Deserts project video click here

One of the Ten Deserts Project partners is Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation (NWAC). As the Prescribed Body Corporate holding and managing the native title rights and interests for the Nyangumarta people, NWAC will work with traditional owners in its area to engage with the project in supporting cultural and ecological knowledge, tourism, fire and feral camel management and other project activities.

YMAC will continue assisting NWAC in delivering land and sea management outcomes through its overall IPA and ranger program.

Indigenous Women Leaders From Outback WA Meet with MPS at Parliament

Posted: March 27th, 2018

In the wake of International Women’s Day, six Indigenous women leaders from Outback WA travelled to Perth to attend a morning tea at Parliament House, hosted by Minister for Women’s Interests Simone McGurk.

YMAC Deputy Co-chair Doris Eaton and Senior Cultural Advisor Nyaparu Rose were among the six Indigenous women that attended the morning tea.

The women shared their perspective on how connection to country can improve lives on the ground in Outback WA, and how Parliament in Perth can help support their work.

“One of the most important things to our people is to be able to manage our traditional country,” said Bianca McNeair, a Malgana woman from Shark Bay.

“Shark Bay is still one of the most beautiful, unique places in the world. To allow our people to be responsible for caring for that officially, gives us hope for the future.”

To view the full article visit Create Ranger Parks

State Government grants funding for Malgana Country Management Program

Posted: February 14th, 2018

Filed under: , , , , , ,

On 10 February 2018, the WA State Government announced the first round of funding of its Aboriginal Ranger Program, awarding $8.4 million to successful applicants. Over the next five-years this program will provide a total of $20 million to support Aboriginal people in the management and conservation of their traditional country.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) empowers all of our Traditional Owner communities in realising their conservation and land management objectives by supporting them to be the decision-makers on their Country.

As one of the successful applicants in the first round of funding, YMAC – on behalf of Malgana Shark Bay People’s Native Title Claim Group – will receive funding for the employment of one Malgana Ranger and one Land and Sea Management Coordinator for 18-months, as part of the proposed “Pathway to a Malgana Country Land and Sea Management Program”.

The first round of funding was very competitive with 58 applications requesting over $60 million in funding and only 13 programs awarded funding.

YMAC CEO Simon Hawkins said, “The State Government grant is a good first step in involving Malgana Traditional Owners in the management of their traditional land and sea country in the Shark Bay area.” Currently, the majority of the Shark Bay area is classified as either: ‘National Park’, ‘Nature Reserve’, ‘Conservation Park’, ‘Marine Park’ or ‘Marine Nature Reserve’, and managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).

“Shark Bay has been recognised for its unique and outstanding environmental values, evidenced by its inclusion on both the National and World Heritages Lists, and this initiative has the potential to become a comprehensive Malgana-led land and sea management program for the entire Shark Bay area,” Mr Hawkins said.

“For many years, Malgana Traditional Owners have indicated their strong desire to be directly involved in managing the vast conservation estate in the Shark Bay area. Whether it’s through direct employment with the State agency responsible for conservation and land management, or through formal and legally binding partnerships involving the Traditional Owners and the State of Western Australia, these aspirations are gradually taking shape,” he said.

“It’s a positive outcome for the Malgana community that will generate local economic, training and employment opportunities, as well as generating environmental and cultural outcomes,” Mr Hawkins said.

The recently produced ‘Gutharraguda Land and Sea Country Management Plan’, endorsed by the Malgana Shark Bay People’s native title working group (‘Malgana Working Group’), clearly articulates some of these aspirations, alongside a set of values and assets, both natural and cultural.

The current funding will assist Malgana People to deliver some of their objectives as described in the ‘Gutharraguda Land and Sea Country Management Plan’, including:

  • Set-up a Malgana reference group which will act as an interface between the wider Malgana community and all stakeholders with an interest in land and sea management in the Shark Bay area. This group will also form part of the negotiation team on behalf of Malgana People when Indigenous Land Use Agreement negotiations start in earnest with the State of Western Australia.
  • Employ a Malgana Ranger within DBCA’s Denham office.
  • Train six Malgana People (three females and three males) in accredited conservation and land management modules.
  • Employ a Malgana person in a coordinating position to facilitate support, and manage the program.

YMAC is in the process of signing the funding agreement with the State Government, on behalf of the Malgana Shark Bay People’s Native Title Claim Group.

YMAC will support the Malgana on its projects and ensure Malgana People are directly involved in the decision-making and practical management of the cultural heritage and environmental assets on their Country.