Country, Culture, People, Future

20 years of YMAC

The 1946 Pilbara Strike featured in ABC Northwest News Article

Posted: September 8th, 2015

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In a recent article by ABC Northwest WA, the 1946 Pilbara Strike was featured. Aboriginal pastoral workers in the Pilbara walked off their jobs against the oppressive work conditions they were facing.

In our Celebrating 20 Years of YMAC, the story of the 1946 strike was shared in the Aboriginal Leadership chapter. The 1946 strike was the first strike by the Aboriginal People and the longest in Australian History.

The reason behind the strike was in protest to the low pay, or in some instances rations instead of pay. The strike was planned by about 200 elders from 23 different groups and more than 800 workers left stations. Some were forced to return to work while others formed new occupations. Many of them formed strike camps and gathered bush tucker, skins and engaged in mining activities to provide food and money for the people there.

Two of the key leaders in the movement were Ernie Mitchell and Peter Coppin. During the course of the strike, they re-gained the lease of the Yandeyarra Station in 1967 and set up an Aboriginal-run community and a community and pastoral enterprise.

YMAC’s Co-Chair Doris Eaton and Deputy Regional Manager Nyaparu Rose are the daughters of Ernie Mitchell and Peter Coppin. This tangible connection provides YMAC with a strong connection to the history of social justice and leadership.

YMAC News issue 26 is available now

Posted: February 13th, 2015

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YMAC News issue 26 front coverThe latest issue of YMAC News is now available. Our cover story is about the delegation of over 70 Traditional Owners from all over the state who converged on Parliament to send a message about protecting Aboriginal heritage. Over 1600 signatures were collected and presented on the day. We have been disappointed with the Government’s response so far, with the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament just one week later without any of the changes that would make heritage protection stronger.

This issue includes some good news stories, about an agreement between the Wajarri Yamatji people and Sinosteel Midwest that was several years in the making, and some Carnarvon students who are benefiting from an earlier native title agreement.

We are also taking some time to look back on our achievements as YMAC celebrates 20 years as a land council. We have included an excerpt from the commemorative book about the brave men and women of the Pilbara strike in the 1940s and how their legacy resonates today.

Click here to read these stories and more.

You can send your feedback to editor@ymac.org.au. Thank you for reading this issue of YMAC News!

 

Celebrating 20 years of YMAC

Posted: December 17th, 2014

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20 Years of YMAC FRONT COVER

December marks 20 years since YMAC became a representative body under the Native Title Act. In celebration of this milestone the Board of Directors is proud to announce a new publication Looking After Country: Our Mother, Our Provider and Keeper.

The book, which is rich with photos and interviews, provides an important record of the achievements of the organisation and the Traditional Owners of the the Murchison, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

YMAC Co-Chairperson Mrs Doris Eaton said the book is a retrospective on the organisation, how it has grown, and what it has achieved.

“It took us 20 years to get where we are but we’ve got more things to do. We want to see more determinations, we’ve got more to come.”

Click here to view the book on the web or email editor@ymac.org.au to request a hard copy.