Country, Culture, People, Future

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More support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Posted: February 5th, 2019

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) held a breakfast event in Perth on 31 January, “A New Path to Reconciliation’, featuring BHP CEO Andrew MacKenzie as keynote speaker.

What was significant about this event was Mr MacKenzie’s call for national action on the Uluru Statement from the Heart (the Statement). His speech was then followed by an inspirational response from Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice Chancellor Indigenous, UNSW Sydney.

Earlier in January this year, YMAC facilitated a meeting in Port Hedland between Mr MacKenzie, Kariyarra Traditional Owners and representatives of Pilbara Aboriginal Voice (PAV).  Mr MacKenzie’s commitment to addressing issues raised at the historic Port Hedland meeting and, more broadly, to hear BHP’s unequivocal endorsement of the Statement and commitment to pursuing Constitutional Recognition is encouraging.

YMAC is hopeful that this public declaration of support by BHP will translate into tangible action and better outcomes for Aboriginal people.

Attending the event were YMAC Co-Chairs Mr Peter Windie (Yamatji) and Ms Natalie Parker (Pilbara); YMAC Deputy Co-Chair (Pilbara) and Pilbara Regional Committee Co-Chair, Mrs Doris Eaton; and, PAV Co-Chair, Ms Linda Dridi – all of whom are also signatories to the Statement.

To watch BHP CEO Andrew MacKenzie’s presentation click here.

 

 

Lock Hospital Centennial Ceremony – Wednesday 9th January 2019 (Carnarvon)

Posted: December 20th, 2018

The Bernier and Dorre Island Lock Hospitals is a shocking part of WA’s history. Between 1908 and 1919, several hundred Aboriginal people from across WA were forcibly removed from their family and country to these lock hospitals via Carnarvon. Many of those family members who were separated during the lock hospital scheme never saw each other again. It’s conservatively estimated that more than 200 people died on the islands.

On Wednesday, 9 January 2019, a Centennial Ceremony will be held at Carnarvon’s One Mile Jetty Café at 3pm. The ceremony will remember and recognise the story, and history of the Bernier and Dorre Island Lock Hospital tragedy.

The State Government and the Shire of Carnarvon have provided funding for a bronze sculpture to acknowledge the centennial anniversary of the last person to be repatriated from the Lock Hospitals, off the coast of Carnarvon. The sculpture will be unveiled at a separate event in 2019.

For more information about the Lock Hospital tragedy click here or to download a PDF about the Lock Hospital tragedy click here.

Nanda native title determination photo gallery live!

Posted: December 18th, 2018

At an on-Country Federal Court hearing on 28 November 2018 at Kalbarri Foreshore in WA – the Nanda people were formally recognised by the Federal Court as native title holders, after a 24-year long legal process. About 300 people attended the hearing.

To view the photo gallery click here.

State government announces EOI for Aboriginal Ranger Program

Posted: December 17th, 2018

The State Government is calling for Expressions of Interest for funding under the second round of the $20 million Aboriginal Ranger Program.

The first round of the program provided $8.45 million to 13 groups across the State, creating 85 new jobs and 80 training opportunities for Aboriginal people, including 47 female Aboriginal ranger positions. YMAC was successful in securing funding in the first round on behalf of Malgana Shark Bay People’s Native Title Claim Group, as part of the proposed “Pathway to a Malgana Country Land and Sea Management Program”.

Round two will see rangers employed to undertake land and sea management including conservation, cultural, tourism and education activities across a range of tenures. A total of $9 million will be available in the second round, for single or multi-year projects up to three years.

For more information click here.

MEDIA RELEASE: Kariyarra people celebrate native title win

Posted: December 14th, 2018

The Kariyarra people yesterday celebrated the recognition of their determination of native title by the Federal Court. About 140 people attended the on-Country Court hearing at the Civic Gardens in Port Hedland. It has been a 20 year-long journey for the Kariyarra people to achieving native title recognition.

To view the media release click here.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Malgana people celebrate native title win

Posted: December 4th, 2018

In an on-Country Federal Court hearing at George Wear Park, Denham Foreshore, WA – the Malgana people have been formally recognised by the Federal Court as native title holders after a 20-year long legal process. Today’s hearing marks the beginning of a new phase for the Malgana people as native title holders.

The judgement made by Justice Murphy recognised the native title rights and interests held by the Malgana people in relation to the land and waters covered by the Determination Area.

Justice Murphy congratulated the Malgana Applicants on their native title determination.

“I congratulate the Malgana people for their dedication to achieving recognition of their native title. It took too long and too much work, and to get there is a great achievement.”

The Malgana People’s native title claim (WAD 6236 of 1998) was lodged in March 1998.

The Determination Area covers about 28,800 square kilometres of Malgana traditional country and encompasses: much of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed (1991) Area of Shark Bay and the Shark Bay Marine Park, Dirk Hartog Island National Park, Edel Land Peninsula and Steep Point – the most westerly point on Mainland Australia, the township of Denham and the whole of the Peron Peninsula and number of pastoral leases.

All Malgana Country and waters are important to the Malgana people. Some areas of particular cultural, historical and environmental significance within the Determination Area include Dirk Hartog Island, Carrarang, Hamelin homestead, Carrarang station, Denham townsite (previously called Freshwater Camp), Faure Island, Peron and Magpie.

The Determination Area is home to places of special spiritual significance to the Malgana people, in particular the burial places of the old people, whose spirits still inhabit Malgana country today.

The Malgana people have maintained a traditional connection to this area since time immemorial, with a vibrant living culture maintained through stories, spiritual connections to the ancestors and country, caring for and managing country and waters, and by passing on traditional knowledge through each generation. Malgana people have a strong connection to their land and waters through their intrinsic local knowledge of its natural resources and the land and seascape.

Fishing is one of the main customary activities of many Malgana people, which allows people to spend time on their waters teaching younger relatives about the sea’s resources and the ecological knowledge to look after the country. Malgana people also have extensive knowledge of the land’s resources learned from their old people, from the collection of bird and turtle eggs, the hunting of animals to the gathering of native plant foods and medicines depending on the seasons.

This same law and culture is still very alive today and is passed on through the generations in the same way as it has been for thousands of years.

Traditional Owner Marika Oakley, who is also Chairperson of the Malgana Aboriginal Corporation said, “Country doesn’t just belong to us. We belong to Country and we need Country as much as Country needs us.”

The celebration was facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), the Native Title Representative Body for the Yamatji region.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Simon Hawkins said, “Congratulations to the Malgana People on their success in what has been a long and hard fight.  Success has come from the persistence and determination of Malgana Elders – sadly, some of whom are no longer with us to witness the outcome of their efforts.

“Today is a day of celebration and we look forward to the future. Moving forward, YMAC is excited about the prospect of working collectively with the Malgana People on a range of initiatives and programs that they want to develop, for the benefit of their community,” Mr Hawkins said.

To download the media release click here.

Posted: November 28th, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 November 2018

Nanda people celebrate native title win

At an on-Country Federal Court hearing at Kalbarri Foreshore in WA – the Nanda people have been formally recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as native title holders after a
24-year long legal process. Today’s hearing marks the beginning of a new phase for the Nanda people as native title holders.

The judgement made by Justice Mortimer recognised the native title rights and interests held by the Nanda people in relation to the land and waters covered by the Determination Area.

Justice Mortimer said, “In relation to the Determination Area there be a determination of native title in (WAD 6136 of 1998) and (WAD 286 of 2018) in the terms provided for in Attachment A.”

Justice Mortimer congratulated the Nanda people on their native title determination.

The Nanda People native title claim (WAD 6136 of 1998) is a combination of two earlier claims, with the first claim lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) in 1994, and the second claim lodged two years later. In 2000, the claims were combined to the current claim (WAD 286 of 2018).

The Determination Area covers about 17,000 square kilometres of Nanda traditional country and encompasses: the town of Kalbarri, Kalbarri National Park, the Zuytdorp Nature Reserve and the Toolonga Nature Reserve. While all Country is important to the Nanda people, the area around the Murchison River is of particular significance as are Tamala and Coolcalalya.

The Nanda people have negotiated the recognition of exclusive possession native title rights over important areas in the Determination Area. This includes land at paradise flats, around Bully, Wilgie Mia, Mooliabatanya and Syphon pools.

The Nanda people have maintained a traditional connection to this area for tens of thousands of years, with a vibrant living culture maintained through ceremonies, beliefs, music, art, and knowledge of the spiritually-imbued landscape.

Chair of the Nanda Aboriginal Corporation, Carrum Mourambine said, “Today’s hearing was an emotional one as some of our Elders who have passed away since the original claim was made were not here to witness this historic occasion for Nanda.”

“This determination means that we can continue to pass on our knowledge of culture and traditional customs to future generations,” Mr Mourambine said.

The celebration was facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), the Native Title Representative Body for the Yamatji region.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Simon Hawkins said, “The native title recognition means that the Nanda people have been recognised by the Federal Court of Australia as the traditional owners of Nanda country.”

“As the Native Title Representative Body, we are pleased to have been part of this successful determination,” Mr Hawkins said.

“Congratulations to everyone involved for their hard work.”

To download the media release click here.

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.