Country, Culture, People, Future


Review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act

Posted: March 19th, 2019

On 7 March Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt launched a discussion paper addressing long overdue changes to the State’s Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972).

YMAC has long advocated for an overhaul of the Act, and it’s great to see that not just an overhaul, but a repealing of the existing Act and new Aboriginal heritage legislation is being proposed.

Aboriginal heritage sites across the State not only hold deep cultural significance for Aboriginal people, they are iconic and in many cases internationally recognised.

YMAC believes it is particularly important that we see change with respect to ensuring Aboriginal people have a strong say in an appeal process on decisions affecting their heritage and land.

Community consultation starts this week

A number of information sessions are planned to be held all over the State, including:

  • THIS Thursday 22 March in Geraldton
  • 26 March in Esperance
  • 28 March in Carnarvon
  • 10 April in Tom Price
  • 11 April in Roebourne
  • 12 April in South Hedland

YMAC encourages Traditional Owners to get involved and attend these sessions.  For timing and location details, as well as other locations throughout the State, click here.

The discussion paper and details on how to get involved in the review can be found at




National Close the Gap Day – 21 March 2019

Posted: March 14th, 2019

The Close the Gap campaign is about improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a highly regarded movement for Indigenous Health Equality that has shaped government policy. It is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and supported by mainstream health and advocacy organisations from around the country.

Why is closing the gap so important?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can expect to live at least 10 years fewer than other Australians. Babies born to Aboriginal mothers die at more than twice the rate of other Australian babies, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience higher rates of preventable illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. The mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is on par with some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

“Be part of the generation that closes this gap forever”.

To sign the Petition to Close the Gap click here.

To find out more about the campaign and how you or your organisation can get involved click here.

YMAC welcomes WA Government’s planned expansion of the Conservation Estate

Posted: March 14th, 2019



Photo: Malgana Country.  Photo by Jose Kalpers from YMAC, with the permission of the Traditional Owners.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) has welcomed plans by the WA Government to expand the State’s conservation estate, creating five million hectares of new parks and reserves over the next five years.

The expansion will go hand-in-hand with the principle of jointly managing, and in some cases jointly vesting, these new reserves with Traditional Owners, which means valuable training and employment opportunities.

YMAC is proud to already be assisting such ranger groups, through the Nyangumarta and Malgana land and sea management programs.

YMAC looks forward to assisting with the consultation process associated with Government’s ‘Plan for Our Parks’ and will strongly encourage Traditional Owners to get involved.

To download YMAC’s media statement click here.

To view the Plan visit:

Premier McGowan’s media statement.


MEDIA RELEASE: Palyku people celebrate native title win

Posted: March 13th, 2019

Palyku Determination Applicant Image 1

The Federal Court’s Justice Reeves with Palyku Applicants at the Native Title determination, Wild Dog Creek, Newman WA.

It was a long time coming to achieving native title recognition for the Palyku people and yesterday was an emotional occasion for many as the Federal Court formally recognised the Applicants as native title holders over a determination area of 9,308 square kilometres.

The on-Country court hearing was held at Wild Dog Creek – approximately 155 kilometres north of Newman, WA. About 100 people attended the hearing, including representatives from the Federal Court, State and Federal governments, and Traditional Owners.

Traditional Owner David Milroy said, “This Determination means a lot to the Palyku people. It’s been a long journey to get to here. This native title recognition is a historic event, and we acknowledge and celebrate this important milestone.”

To view the full media release click here.

Indigenous Governance Awards (2018)

Posted: March 5th, 2019

More than 200 guests attended the 2018 Indigenous Governance Awards (IGA) at the Crown, Melbourne in November last year.  YMAC is honoured to have been acknowledged as a finalist at the awards ceremony.

The awards highlighted the fact that Aboriginal people have managed this land for a long period of time, and Elders have continued to pass on their knowledge, traditions and customs to future generations. Australia is a richer place because of this strong connection to culture.

IGA has recently released the finalist videos, to view YMAC’s video in the Category A section (Outstanding examples of Indigenous governance in Indigenous incorporated organisations) please click below.

Indigenous Governance Awards in Melbourne.

YMAC’s Board of Director’s at the Indigenous Governance Awards in Melbourne.









YNSRA Community Information Sessions Notice

Posted: February 20th, 2019

Yamatji Nation Southern Regional Agreement Native Title Settlement Negotiations

Community information sessions will be held from Wednesday 6 March to Thursday 28 March, 2019 at 10 locations including Perth, Geraldton, Mullewa, Northampton, Carnarvon and Port Hedland. All members of Hutt River, Mullewa Wadjari, Southern Yamatji and Widi Mob claims or persons who are the descendants of the apical ancestors listed in the notice are invited to attend one or more meetings.

A key part of the YNSRA negotiations will be to consult with the broader Traditional Owner community. The sessions will provide an opportunity for you to receive more information, ask questions and provide feedback on what is being negotiated.

Your attendance and feedback is important – it will assist TONT members and your legal advisors to negotiate a better Agreement for your whole community.

For more information about the community sessions and to view the dates and locations for March please click here.

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.