Country, Culture, People, Future


Indigenous Cultural Heritage Conference 2021

Posted: January 15th, 2021

The Taking Control of our Heritage – Indigenous Cultural Heritage Conference is scheduled to be held at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne from 24 to 26 March 2021.

The Conference is for all Traditional Owners, their organisations and those that work with them in the promotion, management and protection of Indigenous Cultural Heritage.

It provides the opportunity to meet, discuss, and develop programs, strategies and ideas to take control of Cultural Heritage in Australia.

Who Should Attend?

  • Traditional Owners and others working in Indigenous Cultural Heritage and Native Title organisations
  • Government officials
  • Cultural Heritage professionals
  • Institutional personnel
  • Academics with a focus on Cultural Heritage or Indigenous Rights
  • Organisations working with Traditional Owners on development proposals

For more information and to register click here


Have your say on Indigenous Voice proposals

Posted: January 14th, 2021

The second stage of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament co-design process has been launched, inviting all Australians to provide their feedback and comments on the proposals.

The Interim Report to the Australian Government, a discussion paper and other resources are now available online. Community consultations will be held over the next four months, people can participate via survey which will remain open for this period, or provide a submission by 31 March 2021.

Minister Wyatt said: “The Government is particularly interested in ensuring that any Voice structure in its final form leads to a greater say for Indigenous Australians on matters that affect them and real changes on the ground. It will also ensure there is a shared responsibility for dealing with these matters – not only with jurisdictions but with Indigenous Australians as well.”

You can provide feedback and find out more about consultations at

Support for reconciliation in Australia higher than ever

Posted: December 15th, 2020

The ‘2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer’ (ARB) shows that support for reconciliation is growing and that more Australians know how to get involved. According to the report, the ARB indicates a steady improvement, however inequality and racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is still an issue.

The survey included 495 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and 1988 general community members, across all states and territories. The report outlines five dimensions of reconciliation:

  • Race Relations – All Australians understand and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous cultures, rights and experiences, which results in stronger relationships based on trust and respect that are free of racism.
  • Equality and Equity – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participate equally in a range of life opportunities and the unique rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and upheld.
  • Unity – An Australian society that values and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage as a proud part of a shared identity.
  • Institutional Integrity – The active support of reconciliation by the nation’s political, business and community structures.
  • Historical Acceptance – All Australians understand and accept the wrongs of the past and the impact of these wrongs. Australia makes amends for the wrongs of the past and ensures these wrongs are never repeated.

Reconciliation Australia said “Reconciliation gives Australians a framework for understanding our race-relations and provides a framework for moving forward to a reconciled future.”

For more information about the 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer click here.

To download the summary report click here.

Legislations’ shortcomings noted in the Juukan Gorge Inquiry.

Posted: December 11th, 2020

Industry, and State and Federal legislation have been held accountable by the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000 Year Old Caves at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

The Committee tabled an interim report, titled Never Again from its Inquiry to Parliament on December 9 2020. They noted that more time was needed to produce a full report to cover such complex issues.

The findings make it clear that several laws must change to address the power imbalance inherent in State and Federal legislation.

The report makes seven recommendations focussing on improving relations between industry and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and improving the legislative framework protecting Indigenous heritage.

A copy of the media statement YMAC has prepared in response to this report in available here.

YMAC will continue to advocate for legislative reform, for a fairer and more balanced environment for Traditional Owners to undertake agreement-making and for central involvement in decisions about what happens on their Country.


YMAC Annual Report 2020

Posted: December 7th, 2020


YMAC’s Annual Report 2020 is available to download from this website.  Copies of the publication are being posted to members and additional copies are available also at YMAC offices.

YMAC News Issue 41

Posted: December 4th, 2020

In this edition of YMAC News we update you on:

  • The recent Regional Committee Meetings
  • COVID-19
  • Law reform and the Draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020
  • YMAC’s Juukan Gorge Submission
  • Ningaloo ILUA
  • YMAC’s 50 per cent ownership of Pilbara Solar
  • What’s happening in our regions
  • How to unlock your Aboriginal ancestry

To view a copy online click here.

To download a copy click here.

Carbon Farming guide now available

Posted: November 30th, 2020

A new guide which outlines the benefits of carbon farming and how Aboriginal organisations can participate in this industry has been launched by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The publication called ‘Setting up for success’ is focused on Human Induced Regeneration (HIR) carbon farming projects on pastoral leases. The guide includes information about how Aboriginal Organisations can benefit from carbon farming projects. It also describes the requirements for carbon project developers to obtain free, prior and informed consent from Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate.

HIR activities can improve agricultural productivity, soil health, and water quality, and help protect native species of plants and animals.

HIR activities include:

  • keeping livestock away from growing trees
  • grazing livestock for shorter periods in certain areas
  • managing feral animals in a humane way
  • managing plants that aren’t native or wouldn’t naturally occur in the project area, and
  • stopping the removal of trees that are growing in the project area.

A copy of the guide can be found here.

Aboriginal corporations and groups can also seek further assistance from the Aboriginal Economic Development team at DPIRD by email or call 0459 867 908.

Applications open for Aboriginal heritage grants

Posted: November 13th, 2020

Aboriginal not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for the annual grants program to protect and promote registered Aboriginal heritage sites in Western Australia.

The Preserving our Aboriginal Sites grant program is offering grants of up to $30,000 for ‘on-the­-ground’ projects such as remediation of burial sites, fence and signage installation, and promotion of cultural information.

Previous projects funded by the State Government program include fencing Aboriginal burial sites on Belele Station in the Murchison, installation of interpretive cultural signage in the Shark Bay UNESCO world heritage area, and permanent fencing and heat-resistant signage highlighting cultural significance of Boogooda in the Kimberley.

Applications close on January 29, 2021, with successful projects expected to be announced in April 2021. For more information or to apply click here

New guidelines to promote Aboriginal language for place naming

Posted: November 12th, 2020

The Aboriginal and Dual Naming Guidelines for naming Western Australian geographic features and places have been launched by the State Government, to help preserve and reawaken local languages through Aboriginal place names.

Developed in consultation with local governments, Aboriginal organisations and other key stakeholders, the guidelines give communities across Western Australia the tools to identify opportunities for Aboriginal place naming and implement them.

Geographical features and places in Western Australia were named by Aboriginal peoples long before the arrival of non-Aboriginal people. The names are intrinsically attached to an Aboriginal group’s understanding of its history, culture, rights, and responsibilities to the lands.

The guidelines emphasise engaging with traditional owners early on to acknowledge their connect to Country. Additionally, these guidelines are intended to support local government and other agencies in the development of their Reconciliation Action Plan.

The guidelines can be accessed here.