Posted: September 26th, 2017
The 4th annual on-Country Bush Meeting at the Yule River meeting place was held on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2017. It was a great gathering of Traditional Owners, Members of Parliament (MPs) and government officials.
YMAC uses the on-Country bush meeting to focus on the priority concerns of the Pilbara Aboriginal people. The Yule River meeting brings together community members to discuss legislative changes that impact them, and to gives them the chance to speak directly to Members of Parliament (MP). For some who attend, it is the first time they are given this type of opportunity. Despite the hot (40 degrees), dry, dusty conditions, over 400 people attended both meeting days.
A presentation from Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA (Treasurer, Minister for Finance, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) was warmly received by all. Short presentations were also made by Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC (Minister for Environment; Disability Services, and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council), Senator Patrick Dodson and Hon. Robin Chapple MLC (Member for Mining and Pastoral Region). An open Q&A session followed the presentations from the MPs, with questions and comments from the crowd focused heavily on language preservation and the poor portrayal of Aboriginal people in the media.
The key resolution from this year’s meeting is that the Traditional Owners will form an independent representative group to give advice to the government on behalf of Pilbara Aboriginal people. This is an historic achievement because, for the first time, the Traditional Owners themselves have set aside their language groups and native title issues to act as a united Voice for the purposes of advancing their agenda with the Government. Other issues that were raised with the MPs were:
In addition to a State Treaty, the Traditional Owners also wholeheartedly endorse the Statement from the Heart. Collectively, they passed a resolution, “We historically made our voice strong in the Pilbara today. Now we historically join with other First Nations in calling on our WA State and Federal Government to fully commit to a process towards Voice, Treaty and Truth.”
The Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River is a forum that allows YMAC to drive outcomes from the momentum gained on the ground.
We have already started planning for next year. Please save the dates: 25-26 July 2018.
Posted: September 12th, 2017
The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (Department) engages with Aboriginal Western Australians and all levels of Government to improve the delivery of services and to facilitate the development of policy and programs, which deliver suitable economic, environmental and social benefits to Aboriginal communities.
The Department is seeking two experienced individuals to undertake the role of Senior Heritage Officer. One role is based in Geraldton and one is based in South Hedland (although the Pilbara role may be located in Karratha or Roebourne and applications are also encouraged from these areas). Both are permanent full-time positions. Aboriginality is a genuine occupational requirement of this position under Section 50D of the WA Equal Opportunity Act.
Reporting to the Team Leader Regions, the successful candidate will:
Please use the links below to view the Department website for a job description form and further information about the duties and the job related requirements which will be used to select the successful candidate. Suitable candidates, not selected to fill this vacancy, may be considered for other employment opportunities (in like positions and like locations) over the next 12 months.
Geraldton Candidates: Senior Heritage Officer, Geraldton
Pilbara Candidates: Senior Heritage Officer, Pilbara
Posted: June 16th, 2017
Nominations to recognise inspirational Aboriginal people for the 2017 Port Hedland NAIDOC Awards are open until Monday 19 June.
A number of categories are available, including Artist of the Year, Person of the Year, Sports Person of the Year, and many others. You can find more information about the categories, selection criteria, and nomination process here.
Winners of the awards will be recognised during NAIDOC Week 2017, which takes place between the 2nd and 9th of July. More information about NAIDOC Week events can be found by emailing Katie at Health WA at 9174 1240 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: July 4th, 2016
To celebrate NAIDOC Week this year, towns across Western Australia are collaborating with local and national Aboriginal organisations to plan cultural events and activities for their communities.
Working with the Yinhawangka People, the town of Paraburdoo is planning a series of events beginning on 2 July. These events include family friendly gatherings and demonstrations of traditional practices like boomerang throwing and damper-making competitions.
In Tom Price, there are plans for demonstrations of traditional dancing, painting and performances, live music, an outdoor film festival, and a Food Showcase.
In Perth, an afternoon of free family entertainment is being offered at the James Street Amphitheatre. Featuring performances by Jake and the Cowboys, the event is being presented by acclaimed Aboriginal dancer and digeridoo player Olman Walley. Guests can learn about Australia’s native bush plants and bush tucker by trying a variety of samples at market stalls. Those who cannot make it can tune into 100.9 FM for a live broadcast on Noongar Radio.
For more information about the events in Paraburdoo and Tom Price, visit the Shire of Ashburton’s website here, and for information about how NAIDOC Week is being celebrated across WA visit the official NAIDOC week website here.
Posted: June 13th, 2016
A world-class biodiversity project directed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) has collected and documented samples from 1000 different sites across the Pilbara.
DPaW says the project would have been impossible without the contributions and support from Pilbara Traditional Owners.
The samples were collected between 2002 and 2006, and after a decade of research and cataloguing, DPaW says the results represent the most comprehensive survey of the area ever done.
The project results will be freely available and will inform future land use planning, help to evaluate the Pilbara’s natural parks and nature reserves, and to provide input into environmental impact assessments associated with resource development.
Posted: March 29th, 2016
On Saturday April 9, Indigenous artists from across Western Australia will meet in Fremantle to highlight the diversity of Aboriginal art.
Revealed: WA Aboriginal Art Market is a special event hosted by the Fremantle Arts Centre, and will have textiles, ceramics, jewellery and more on display from Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Goldfields, Western Desert and Great Southern art centres.
The free event takes place between 10am and 4pm in the Centre’s Front Garden, and will feature carving demonstrations and weaving workshops.
The market is part of the WA State Government’s annual effort to showcase WA’s regional artistic communities.
Posted: March 8th, 2016
writingWA has introduced the Hachette Mentoring Program for Regional WA Writers. The program is open to any resident of Western Australia’s nine regions (Gascoyne, Goldfields-Esperance, Great Southern, Kimberley, Mid-West, Peel, Pilbara, South West and Wheatbelt), and participants are asked to submit a manuscript for the chance to win a mentorship with Hachette publisher Sophie Hamley.
Entries may be fiction, non-fiction or young adult fiction. One manuscript will be selected every year, and the closing date for this year’s selection is 23 March 2016. You can find more information and the application form here.
Also, applications for the first round of the 2016 Country Arts WA Regional Arts Project Fund close on Friday 11 March. Amounts of up to $20,000 are available for community groups and a total of $15,000 is being made available for applications from individuals.
Posted: February 8th, 2016
The E-book version of Lisa Holland-McNair’s, Melva Stone’s and Erica Smith’s Red Dust in Her Veins: Women of the Pilbara is now available through Amazon, iTunes and Kobo.
The 2007 work details the stories of 12 women and their lives in the Pilbara, and feature 25 full colour pages of pictures, maps and historical information to “show the Pilbara at its remote and ruggedly best.”
The book, dedicated to women of the Pilbara past, present and future, is donating all proceeds to the Flying Doctor Service.
In the foreword, Ms Stone writes that her work offers a glimpse into the multitude of ways the land and Country shapes the lives of its inhabitants, and becomes core to their identity.
“[This book] provides a window into the lives of four indigenous women who were born and have lived most of their lives there, and eight non-Indigenous women travelled to the region for work or with their families,” writes Stone.
“All of these women offer an insight into how they have found ways to meet the challenges of coping with change, with isolation from family, friends and technology, with health scares, while managing their relationships and working in new jobs.
“Their stories are invaluable for anyone contemplating ‘going bush’ to discover who they are and what’s important to them.”
One of the women featured in Stone’s work is Patricia Fry, an Aboriginal woman hailing from the Gibson Desert in the Pilbara’s far east. She writes in her story that nothing can replace the fondness she has for home.
“When I think of the land, I think of the red, red ochre…my last long trip up there was right out to my mother’s country, on Lake Percival – we called it Winpa,” writes Ms Fry.
“I knew as soon as I felt that wind on my face that I was home, I knew it was my father’s, my uncle’s, my mother’s country – I couldn’t get there quick enough, and when I arrived I just sat down and cried.
“I never wanted to leave.”
Hard copies of the book can be found at Elizabeth’s Bookstore or at the above Amazon link.