Country, Culture, People, Future

Rock Art

41,000 year-old Pilbara Aboriginal Site to be Protected

Posted: December 12th, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Fortescue Metals Group
Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, today announced the oldest occupation dates ever found in the region. Working with archaeologists from the heritage company Archae-aus, the Nyiyaparli Heritage Sub-Committee and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation have revealed that charcoals found while excavating a rock shelter are more than 41,000 years old, according to carbon-dating analysis.
Nyiyaparli elder and Heritage Sub-Committee member David Stock said, “We feel proud that this evidence of our ancestors has been found and are happy it will be protected. This kind of work shows Australians that our heritage is very important and that it can be protected”.
Nyiyaparli elder and Heritage Sub-Committee member Gordon Yuline said “We have to keep the caves to show the young people how the old people used to live. It is very important we protect these places and we are able to go there and teach the young ones.”
The shelter site would be protected by a buffer zone and that Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners have requested further research be carried out at the important site.

Click here to read the full media release.

Native Title Railway Agreement to Protect Rock Art

Posted: October 2nd, 2010

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This week Palyku native title claimants and Hancock Prospecting announced an agreement over the company’s proposed heavy haulage rail line to connect their Roy Hill project with Port Hedland.

The agreement provides financial and non-financial benefits, including payments to be used for protecting and managing the cultural heritage values relating to the Woodstock Abydos Reserve, one of the richest rock art centres in the world.

“In the negotiations, we made it clear that we don’t want any of our special places to be disturbed,” said Terry Jaffrey, a Palyku elder. “Hancock has agreed to avoid all sacred sites, and to provide funds to protect the Woodstock Abydos heritage listed area.”
The agreement also specifies a portion of the financial benefits to be used for an employment, training and education program and a Health and Elderly Support Fund. These programs are in addition to Hancock’s commitment to implement a Pilbara Indigenous Employment policy, and provide contracting preferences for Pilbara Indigenous companies.

“To us it’s a very important place,” said Jaffrey. “I spent most of my time over the last decade dealing with mining companies, looking after it, and I’ll keep on looking after it. That’s why we have to work with Hancock to make sure they don’t disturb anything. It’s very important to me and to our children’s children.”

This agreement with the Palyku people is the latest to be signed by Hancock over its rail corridor, which will affect several native title claims.