Country, Culture, People, Future

WA State Government

Kariyarra People celebrate landmark agreement

Posted: October 2nd, 2017

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Kariyarra ILUA

Kariyarra People celebrate the signing of the Indigenous Landuse Agreement with the State of Western Australia

YMAC congratulates the Kariyarra People and the State of Western Australia on the signing of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), which occurred this morning in Port Hedland. This is a landmark occasion deserving of celebration.

Since 2011, the Kariyarra Working Group members (on behalf of the Kariyarra People) were represented by YMAC, and have been working with expert consultants and government staff across many departments to achieve this landmark ILUA. The agreement offers a benefits package worth $38 million to empower Kariyarra People to end intergenerational poverty and help their families get ahead. The State of Western Australia approved the Kariyarra-State ILUA in Cabinet on 31 July 2017.

Diana Robinson, Kariyarra Elder states, “The ILUA negotiation has been a long, challenging journey that has changed the way we see ourselves and empowered us to create a better future for our people.”

YMAC CEO Simon Hawkins states, “YMAC’s goal is to empower Aboriginal people take a leadership role in their communities to achieve the outcomes they want for themselves. We support our stakeholders to live and work towards a dignified, self-reliant life. On behalf of the staff and Directors of YMAC, I congratulate the Kariyarra and the State of Western Australia, and celebrate with them on this historic occasion.”

YMAC media release: Kariyarra celebrate ILUA

Hon. Rita Saffioti (Minister for Transport, Planning, Lands) and Hon. Ben Wyatt (Treasurer, Minister for Finance, Aboriginal Affairs) statement: Ministers’ Statement

United Voice for Pilbara Aboriginal People

Posted: September 26th, 2017

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Yule River 2017 Panel

2017 on-Country Bush Meeting Day 2 Panel Q&A

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:

  • language preservation;
  • improving education in the Pilbara;
  • improving health services – mental, renal and men’s health;
  • supporting a treaty with the State Government;
  • improving housing services for Aboriginal Pilbara people;
  • strong opposition to the introduction of the Cashless Welfare Card; and
  • Aboriginal heritage protection.

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.

2015 Amnesty International Media Awards now open

Posted: July 24th, 2015

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Launch of Amnesty's Indigenous Youth Incarceration campaign.  Photo: (c)AIA/ IngetjeTadros

Amnesty’s Indigenous Youth Incarceration Campaign
Photo: (c)AIA/ IngetjeTadros

These awards include the Indigenous Reporting category, recognising excellence in media coverage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander human rights issues.

This year’s Amnesty International Australia Media Awards are now open and journalists are encouraged to enter their human rights stories of the last year.

To enter these awards visit here before the closing date of Friday 14 August 2015.

Join World Rallies this Friday to Stop the Community Closures

Posted: April 29th, 2015

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This Friday, 1 May, communities are joining together in protest against the Barnett Government’s forced closure of Aboriginal Communities.

This marks the second wave of rallies organised by the group SOS Blak Australia. The protests will occur world-wide including in Los Angeles, London, Berlin and Christchurch, as well as all Australian capital cities.

Rallies will take place in Perth and regional Western Australia, including Roebourne, Newman, Port Hedland and Geraldton.

The State Government announced in November 2014 that it intended to close up to 150 Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia. Five months later, the Government has still not engaged in discussion with Aboriginal people on this issue.

The Barnett Government has not identified the location of Communities under threat of closure and has not identified what will happen to those who live in the Communities following the closure.

To view the complete list of planned action visit SOSBlakAustralia.

It’s time to strengthen Aboriginal heritage protection

Posted: September 12th, 2014

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Join us in petitioning the State Government

As you probably know, YMAC is organising a meeting on Country on 26 September 2014 to discuss the proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, at the request of the Pilbara Regional Committee.

We are now circulating a petition urging the State Government to develop a meaningful framework for reform of the Act that empowers Aboriginal people and builds on previous reviews of Aboriginal heritage legislation.

Click here to download your copy of the petition.

This petition is not limited to the Aboriginal community. Please circulate it as widely as possible, through your professional and personal networks, to make an impact on the WA State Government.

Original signatures (not scans) need to be returned to YMAC at PO Box 3072, 249 Hay Street, East Perth WA 6892 by 31 October 2014 so it can be presented to the State Parliament.

For more information on the changes or the reviews referred to in the petition, go to www.aboriginalheritage.net.au.

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you on 26 September at Yule River.

Community NRM Grants

Posted: May 16th, 2014

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Local community across WA can now apply for the State Government’s 2014-15 Natural Resource Management grants of between $10,000 and $50,000 to help conserve, restore, rehabilitate and enhance landscapes or conserve biodiversity.

For more information and to access application forms and guidelines   please go to the State NRM Office’s website or phone (08) 9368 3168 or email snrmo@agric.wa.gov.au.

Applications close on June 20.

 

Banjima people celebrate recognition after a battle in the Federal Court

Posted: March 14th, 2014

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Banjima Traditional Owners with Justice Barker

Banjima Traditional Owners with Justice Barker at their on-country native title determination this week

On 11th March 2014, the Federal Court recognised the native title rights of the Banjima People at their on-country determination held in Karijini National Park in the Central Pilbara.

The Banjima People first lodged their native title claim in 1998 and have been in litigation with the WA State Government since 2011 after being unable to move forward with a negotiated outcome.

Maitland Parker, Banjima elder, said “We have fought for this for a long time, so to be recognised as traditional owners is very rewarding. Our elders have taught us all of the things we needed to get our determination. They have taught us our law, language and culture, which we will pass on our young people.”

Simon Hawkins, CEO for Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation said it was a momentous occasion for the Banjima people.

Click here to learn more.

 

 

Aboriginal Lands Trust and Western Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council Vacancies

Posted: February 6th, 2014

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The WA State Government is seeking to fill four (4) positions that will become vacant in the coming months for the Aboriginal Lands Trust. Appointments for these positions will be for a 4 year period.

The State Government is also seeking to fill six (6) position on the Australian Aboriginal Advisory Council which will become available in July.  Appointments for these positions will be for 3 year period.

For further information on the above roles and eligibility contact the Department of Aboriginal Affairs on 08 6551 8000 or visit their website.

Have your say on pastoral lease issues

Posted: October 22nd, 2013

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The Standing Committee on Public Administration will hold public committee hearings for its inquiry into pastoral leases this November. The Committee will be travelling to Carnarvon for a public hearing on 5 November and to Port Hedland for a public hearing on 6 November.

The outcomes of the inquiry will impact on the way pastoral leases are administered into the future. Click here for more information and to view the inquiry’s terms of reference.

Members of the public can sit in on the hearings, but to have your say to the committee, contact Lauren Mesiti on 9222 7376 as soon as possible, as places are limited.