Country, Culture, People, Future

Pilbara Region News

Truth telling project scoops 2020 WA Heritage Awards

Posted: July 6th, 2020

 

“Don’t look at the islands”, Lock Hospitals memorial at Carnarvon. Photo Credit – Melissa Sweet

Congratulations to the volunteer team behind the Lock Hospital Project for their outstanding achievements at the 2020 WA Heritage Awards.

Overall the project was recognised for four coveted awards: Bob Dorey and Kathleen Musulin – who is a former YMAC Board of Director- have been named winners of the ‘Voluntary Individual Contribution’ category; The Lock Hospital Working Group has been named a joint winner in the ‘Community-based organisation’ and the ‘Interpretation Project’ categories; as well as the recipient of the prestigious Judges Award: The Professor David Dolan Award.  

The project played a key part in lobbying the WA Government to formally acknowledge the shocking history of WA’s Lock Hospitals off the coast of Carnarvon. Between 1908 and 1919, hundreds of Aboriginal patients were incarcerated in the Lock Hospitals on Bernier and Dorre islands, with more than 150 people dying there. 

Chair of the Heritage Council of WA, Hon John Cowdell AM commended the team for bringing an important piece of Australian history to the awareness of more people.

“Your commitment to the recognition of the once hidden stories of the Bernier and Dorre islands Lock Hospitals has brought the community and descendants together to share painful stories and acknowledge past truths. I commend you for your ongoing dedication to the project and those impacted by the horrific chapter in Western Australia’s history.”

 

Special online film viewing – CONNECTION TO COUNTRY: The Pilbara

Posted: May 22nd, 2020

 

You are invited to a special online film event run by FILEF, which highlights the importance of Connection to Country in the Pilbara region.

CONNECTION TO COUNTRY: The Pilbara is about the fight of the Pilbara region Aboriginal people to protect their sacred sites.

The Burrup Peninsula (or Murujuga), in the Pilbara region, holds the largest concentration of rock art in the world, dating back over 50,000 years. It is an ancient landscape, so sacred that some parts shouldn’t be looked upon by anyone, except Traditional Owners.

In the film, Director Tyson Mowarin shows how he and the people of the Pilbara are fighting back to protect this sacred site. Traditional Owners are documenting the rock art, recording sacred sites and battling to get their unique cultural heritage recognised, recorded and celebrated.

The film will be accessible online, from 7pm on Thursday the 28th until 7pm on Saturday 30th of May 2020.

Please follow these directions to login:

  1. Click on the link below

https://www.artfilms-digital.com/item/connection-to-country

  1. Click on login, top right hand corner
  2. Enter as a Guest Account:  FILEF
  3. Password: artfilms

YMAC offers referral support to the Pilbara

Posted: May 15th, 2020

In response to a recent request from the Department of Communities’ Pilbara Incident Management Team, YMAC’s Hedland Office staff have offered to act as a referral agent for those members currently living in the Pilbara region who may be experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

The department’s regional office has stated:

Individuals and families in the Pilbara may, at different times, need welfare support as a result of COVID-19. We are conscious that some people may have difficulties contacting the State Emergency Relief Hotline. To overcome this we are keen to identify organisations that have relationships in community and can refer people who may require welfare support to our Incident Management team. This will help to ensure people are able to access the support they need.

YMAC has agreed to be a referral agent to be able to help support our Pilbara-based members. This involves helping you to navigate this process such as completing forms, during the COVID-19 response.

Please note, the department has also provided the below eligibility criteria for assistance currently being provided. Accessing this support is a welfare response and provides coordinated assistance for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible individuals and families are:

•         Suffering hardship as a result of assisting their family, household or others who have been placed under home quarantine or isolation during COVID 19;

•         Not able to access essentials due to the following: age, vulnerability (e.g. sick, disability etc.), remoteness, social issues (e.g. poverty, unemployment);

•         Have no other financial means to access support, nor have access to savings, Centrelink benefits or other payments;

•         Have exhausted all other avenues of formal and informal supports;

•         Currently not self-isolating as directed by WACHS;

•         A victim of unforeseen crisis;

•         Requiring support following family and domestic violence in the absence of existing support from services (Victim or Perpetrator) (Family Violence Screening must be done);

•         Supporting eligible stranded travellers in affected areas; and/or

•         Providing care for children and dependents of deceased or seriously ill individuals.

Should YMAC members living in the Pilbara region find themselves in need of help, as described above, please contact YMAC’s Business Support Officer based in Hedland, Leaine, on 0457 311 462

Relaxing of COVID-19 Restrictions

Posted: May 14th, 2020

On Sunday, 10 May 2020 Premier Mark McGowan announced the State Government’s four phase roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions in WA. Phase 2 comes into effect on 18 May.

It is very important for people to familiarise themselves with the details of what the changes mean. Up to date details and FAQs can be found here

Phase 2 includes the following, with a limit of people lifted to 20 people where social distancing of 1.5 metres or 4 square metres per person can still be maintained:

  • indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings will be lifted from 10 people to 20 people;
  • people are encouraged to return to work, unless they are unwell or vulnerable;
  • cafés and restaurants can reopen with meal service (including within pubs, bars, clubs, hotels and casino);
  • weddings and funerals, up to 20 attendees (30 for outdoor);
  • places of worship, community facilities and libraries to re-open;
  • community sports (non-contact);
  • outdoor or indoor fitness classes (minimal shared equipment);
  • public swimming pools can open under strict rules (one indoor pool and one outdoor pool).

WA regional travel restrictions will also change, the number of current borders within Western Australia will drop from 13 to only four.  This will NOT include the Commonwealth Biosecurity zone and remote communities.

The new regional boundaries will allow:

  • travel between the South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Perth and Peel regions;
  • travel between the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding Biosecurity zone);
  • travel within the Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the Biosecurity zone);
  • travel permitted between the Kimberley local government areas (the Commonwealth’s Biosecurity zone remains in place).

Western Australia’s hard border with the rest of Australia will remain in place.  It is expected to be the final restriction lifted.

Phase 1 is already in place following the cautious relaxing of some restrictions from April 27, 2020, to allow families and friends to stay connected.  Phase 3 will be finalised in the coming weeks, based on the advice from the Chief Health Officer and taking into account the infection rates across WA.

More information on WA’s Roadmap is available here

Cautious easing of social restrictions in WA

Posted: April 28th, 2020

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Following continued low numbers of new cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in WA, from Monday 27 April 2020 some stage 3 restrictions have been relaxed. This cautious easing of restrictions will help families and friends to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed at:

  • weddings and funerals
  • outdoor personal training (no shared equipment)
  • home opens and display village inspections

If a single household has more than 10 people, that household remains exempt from this new rule. All public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment are to remain closed, along with other restrictions previously implemented to minimise the spread of COVID 19 in the community.

It is still very important that people follow the guidance on social distancing which includes keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from others, and minimising unnecessary contact.  WA remains in a State of Emergency and so various restrictions are still enforceable by fines.

For more information please see the media statement  and updates on the WA Government website 

Closure of Gun Shops (No 2) Direction – Aboriginal Person Entitled to Exercise a Native Title Right to Hunt

Posted: April 22nd, 2020

Statutory Declarations now available : Closure of Gun Shops (No 2) Direction – Aboriginal Person Entitled to Exercise a Native Title Right to Hunt

YMAC recently wrote to Hon Fran Logan, MLA Minister for Emergency Services and Mr Christopher Dawson, Commissioner of Police and State Emergency Commissioner, seeking further advice on how this Direction is being implemented.

Specific advice was sought with regard to how Traditional Owners can provide evidence to gun shop owners that they are “an Aboriginal Person who is entitled to exercise a native title right to hunt over particular land and waters…”.

In most native title determinations of the Federal Court of Australia, the definition of “native title holder” includes subjective components such as self-identification, and identification by the broader community.

The broader community identification is the responsibility of each determined native title group’s prescribed body corporate (PBC). It may be challenging for some PBCs to provide this written support during this period of self-isolation and travel restrictions, and therefore also challenging for Aboriginal people to obtain ammunition in accordance with this Direction.

YMAC is pleased to advise that this Statutory Declaration can now be used by native title holders, to support provision of evidence of their right to exercise native title rights. Native title holders will need to print out and complete details such as name and address, as well as which native title determination/application you are connected to. The form must also be witnessed by an ‘authorised witness’.  A copy of the letter sent to all gun shop owners by WAPOL is also included here for reference.

YMAC is interested to know if any Traditional Owners continue to experience difficulties with this issue. You can call our Perth, Geraldton or Port Hedland office numbers for assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

YMAC News Issue 40

Posted: April 20th, 2020

 

The latest issue of YMAC News is available online, to download a copy click here

ORIC Registrar’s actions to help Aboriginal Corporations during COVID-19

Posted: March 27th, 2020

 

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) is aware of the challenges posed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations during this period. They are working on temporary provisions to support your operations and governance.

The Registrar continues to operate with staff available for you to contact to help you with any questions you have regarding the operation and governance of your corporation.

The Registrar will use his unique powers and the flexibility of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act), to help corporations manage the threats and impacts of COVID-19.

A corporation can request the Registrar exercise his power under the CATSI Act to change their rule book to include a set of special rules to assist, without needing to pass a special resolution for this purpose.

More information can be found here.

Regular updates and further information can be found here

NAIDOC WEEK HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO COVID19

Posted: March 24th, 2020

 

The National NAIDOC Committee (NNC) has announced that NAIDOC Week 2020 (5 July -12 July) will be postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This decision was made in the interests of safety for their communities after taking advice from the Federal Government, health experts, key partners and leading national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations.

“We all believe that an escalating COVID-19 crisis as we head into winter would have disastrous impacts on our mob – especially for our Elders and those in our communities with chronic health issues.”

Also suspended are the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants round, which will not be progressed.  No funding will be awarded under the round at this time.

Any information about the 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round re-opening will be published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, the Agency’s social media pages and on the NAIDOC website.

The Agency will shortly contact those who have already submitted an application. If applications are re-opened for the NAIDOC Local Grants Round you are not expected to re-apply but organisers may need to contact you once they have more information.

If you did not have the opportunity to submit your application and wish to be notified about future arrangements or opportunities to apply, please email  NAIDOCGrants@niaa.gov.au.

The National NAIDOC Awards to have been held in Alice Springs on 11 July have also be postponed. This means that the nomination process will not go ahead for now.

The NNC will keep communities updated on new dates for the above events once confirmed, but at this stage it is not known when this will be.

For more information contact the NNC here