Country, Culture, People, Future


Nyiyaparli people celebrate native title win

Posted: September 27th, 2018

In an on-Country Federal Court hearing yesterday at Coondiner Pool (Kuntinha) – 130 kilometres north of Newman – the Nyiyaparli community have been formally recognised by the Federal Court as native title holders over the land that they have been connected to for thousands of years.

It has been an almost 20-year long journey for the Nyiyaparli people to achieving native title recognition, with the first initial claim (WAD 6280 of 1998) lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal on 29 September 1998. Yesterday’s court hearing saw representatives from the Federal Court, State and Federal government, and Traditional Owners come together to witness this historic occasion.

Yesterday’s judgement by Justice Barker saw an agreement reached between the Nyiyaparli community, the State of Western Australia and other respondents in relation to the land and waters covered by their application.

Justice Barker congratulated the Nyiyaparli Applicants on their native title determination.

“The Court also commends the legal and other representatives of all the parties who have worked assiduously to help produce this outcome.”

The celebration was facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), the Native Title Representative Body for the Pilbara Region, and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation (KNAC), the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC).

Traditional Owner and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation member Bradley Hall said, “It has been almost 20 years leading us to this day and I am proud of this achievement as we have worked together to overcome the challenges faced along the way.”

“Unfortunately some of our elders were not here to celebrate this milestone today but it’s because of them that we are celebrating our native title recognition here at Coondiner Pool,” Mr Hall said.

The Determination Area covers approximately 40,000 square kilometres of Nyiyaparli traditional country and encompasses the town of Newman, the Aboriginal communities of Jigalong and Parnpajinya, several pastoral leases and significant mining operations.

While all Country is important to the Nyiyaparli people, areas of particular cultural and environmental significance within the Determination Area include: the Fortescue Marsh, Weeli Wolli Creek, Coondiner Creek, Caramulla Creek and Savoury Creek. Parts of the Hamersley, Chichester and Opthalmia Ranges and the Fortescue and Oakover Rivers are also major features of the area.

Within this Determination Area are places of particular significance to the Nyiyaparli people, including ceremonial sites, songlines, permanent pools and natural resources.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Simon Hawkins said, “The native title recognition of the Nyiyaparli people at yesterday’s Federal Court hearing is also a good time to reflect on this 20 year journey and the great outcome that has been achieved.”

“We are proud to have been the Native Title Representative Body working with the Nyiyaparli people, and the Federal and State governments, to achieve a successful determination.”

“Congratulations to everyone involved for their hard work, and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation looks forward to continuing to work with the Nyiyaparli community,” Mr Hawkins said.

To download a copy of the media statement click here.

YMAC News Issue 36

Posted: September 18th, 2018

The latest edition of YMAC news is available online. In this issue:

  • we Acknowledge YMAC’s long-serving Regional Committee Members,
  • detail the outcomes from the 5th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River,
  • celebrate consent determinations for our communities in the Yamatji and Pilbara regions,
  • outline YMAC’s submission to the State Government on the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 review, and
  • congratulate the Yaburara Mardudhunera people on their native title recognition, and much more.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of YMAC News.

To access the online newsletter click here.

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

Pilbara Solar signs memorandum of understanding with Enernet Global

Posted: September 18th, 2018

Pilbara Solar celebrated its first birthday by signing an memorandum of understanding with Enernet Global. The two companies share many goals:

  • to drive the transition to clean energy,
  • to engage positively with local communities, and
  • to bring affordable non-polluting power to remote locations.

Enernet has expertise in designing, developing and financing remote renewable microgrids. They have a track record of positive engagement with Indigenous communities. Enernet supports Pilbara Solar’s business model of equity for Traditional Owners of Country.

To find out more about Enernet Global click here.

Pilbara Solar has a new website visit us:

Pilbara Aboriginal voices unite again for change

Posted: August 29th, 2018

More than 20 Aboriginal people from different language groups across the Pilbara have come together in South Hedland over two days to call for immediate action to improve the lives of Aboriginal people across the region.

Pilbara Aboriginal Voice, Kakurrka Muri (Karriyarra language for Yule River), or PAV, was borne out of the 4th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River in 2017.

PAV has already made significant progress working to address issues including language preservation, remote housing, the protection of Aboriginal heritage, Constitutional Recognition, health, education, justice, and the welfare of children.

It was officially endorsed and recognised by both Federal and State Aboriginal Affairs Ministers Ben Wyatt and Senator Nigel Scullion and others at the 5th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River in July 2018.

PAV Co-Chairs Danny Brown and Linda Doogiebee said PAV was acknowledged at the meeting 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.

“PAV represents the strongest and most unified group of Aboriginal people to form to call for change in the region since the 1946 Pilbara strikes,” Mr Brown said.

“A number of groups that have formed in the Pilbara over recent decades have unfortunately failed, unlike PAV which has been formed by Aboriginal people, for Aboriginal people, at Yule River meetings.”

Ms Doogiebee said PAV was calling on the State Government, whose Ministers have been in town for regional cabinet meetings, to provide ongoing funding for the group to make meaningful change in the region.

“Despite our differences in language and land, we must work together if we are to improve the lives of Aboriginal people in the Pilbara,” Ms Doogiebee said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jane Grljusich, Communications Manager, 0427 463 796,

To download a PDF copy of the media statement click here.


Watch the highlights from the 2018 Yule River Meeting

Posted: August 14th, 2018

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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.