Country, Culture, People, Future

April 2013

Yugunga-Nya People Sign Native Title Agreement with Ventnor Resources

Posted: April 30th, 2013

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The Yugunga-Nya People, Traditional Owners of land within the Eastern Murchison region of Western Australia, have announced the signing of an agreement with Australian base metals company Ventnor Resources Limited (Ventnor) for the Thaduna/Green Dragon Copper Project over 640 hectares of their traditional country in Doolgunna Western Australia.

The agreement recognises the cultural and environmental significance of the area for Traditional Owners and aims to deliver significant financial and social outcomes to the Yugunga-Nya People through commercial and community development opportunities.

Yugunga-Nya Traditional Evelyn Gilla said, ‘I am happy that this agreement was signed. The
company was friendly, and it was a good agreement for Yugunga-Nya people’

Ventnor Managing Director Bruce Maluish responded, ‘we at Ventnor extend our appreciation
to the Yugunga-Nya People for the goodwill they have exhibited throughout our negotiations
that have culminated in this important agreement. Ventnor looks forward to working with the
group in the future’.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) CEO Simon Hawkins said, ‘This agreement
shows what can be achieved when companies are open from the outset. The mutual
cooperation throughout negotiations meant this agreement was finalised within a short
timeframe and both parties were happy with the result’.

Pieces of Gutharraguda Exhibition Opening in Denham

Posted: April 24th, 2013

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Respected local Denham community icon, Jimmy Poland, will tell the story of his life in Shark Bay through an upcoming exhibition of his jewellery and artwork called Pieces of Gutharraguda.

At 86 years old, Malgana elder Jimmy has been carving pearl shell, emu eggs and boab nuts for many years – a skill that was passed down from his father – but this is the first time his works have been documented visually as part of Malgana cultural history.

Through a mentorship program supported by contemporary WA arts organisation, FORM, Jimmy has been able to work with leading WA jeweller and designer, Helena Bogucki. His pieces reflect the evolution of Gutharraguda (Shark Bay) country, as well as the fishing and pastoral industries of the town.

Pieces of Gutharraguda will be showing at the Rose de Freycinet Gallery, Shark Bay World Heritage and Discovery Centre, 3-24 May 2013. The exhibition will then travel to Gwoonwardu Mia Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Centre in Carnarvon, Port Hedland Galleries, and Perth.

For details about the exhibition opening, please see the flyer below.
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Next Rounds of Nominations for 2013 National Congress Open Soon

Posted: April 23rd, 2013

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Each year, the National Congress of First Peoples holds a meeting of 120 members who are elected and appointed as Congress Delegates. The meetings are a key event where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples can come together with the Congress’ elected National Board to share persepectives and recommend strategies on issues that affect indigenous communities and families in Australia.

Although individual delegate nominations are now closed, nominations for organisation delgates will be open from 3 May 2013 and for Co-Chairs from 3 June 2013 (please see timetable below as a guide).

This year’s National Congress meeting takes place 19-21 July in Cairns.

Fore more information, including application and eligibility requirements, visit the National Congress website.

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Good Heart 2013 Calls for Indigenous Artworks

Posted: April 19th, 2013

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There is just over a week left for Indigenous artists from the mid-west to submit contributions to be considered for the Good Heart 2013 art exhibition.

Now in its sixth year, the Oakajee Port and Rail Good Heart Aboriginal Art Project showcases traditional and contemporary works by emerging and established mid-west artists to a metropolitan audience.

The main exhibition will take place in Perth from 10-14 June 2013, after a preview in Geraldton from 13-27 May.

Works must be submitted for consideration by Wednesday 1 May 2013.

Artists interested in submitting works should contact Nan Rickards on 0417 184 290 or email

Expressions of Interest Sought for Regional Appeals Committee

Posted: April 18th, 2013

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The Department of Housing is looking for people to join its Regional Appeals Committee (RAC), and Indigenous people in particular are encouraged to apply.

The RAC is a three-person committee that meets regularly from each region to review decisions made by the Department of Housing.

Committee Members sit on a rotational basis, and a sitting fee is paid for each Committee meeting.

For more information including application and eligibility requirements, download an Expression of Interest Application Kit, visit or call the Department of Housing on (08) 9222 45446.

Applications close 3:00pm on Monday 29 April 2013.

Pilbara Indigenous Business Announces Mining Services Joint Venture

Posted: April 16th, 2013

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L-R: Rear – Tom Edmonson, Luke Mateljan, Sue Bung, Francis Bung. Sitting – Ray Bushnell, Bruce Bung.

YMAC congratulates Nyiyaparli Engineering Mine & Maintenance Services Pty Ltd (NEMMS) and Western Plant Hire (WA) Pty Ltd (WPH) who have just announced an incorporated Joint Venture to conduct Plant Hire and Mining Services in the Pilbara.

NEMMS is an Aboriginal owned and run company, established in 2010 by members of the Bung family, who are Traditional Owners of Nyiyaparli country in the Pilbara.

WPH offers a complete plant hire service and Crushing Services with clients including Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Rio Tinto, among others. WPH have been working closely with NEMMS for the past 12 months at Fortescue Cloudbreak mine, providing several large items of mining equipment.

The joint venture agreement gives 50/50 ownership to each company and will be managed by a Board with equal representation.

Sue Bung, NEMMS Director, said the partnership was a way for her family to participate in the local economy and get back to her traditional country. “We started NEMMS because we wanted to get up and do something for ourselves. Western Plant Hire and Fortescue have really given us a start, and I’m thankful for this opportunity. It lets us get back onto Nyiyaparli country, to our songlines and sites, to keep our law and culture going. I look forward to getting our younger generation involved”.

Ray Bushnell, Chief Executive Officer, WPH said, “We have been working with NEMMs for over a year and got to know the Bung Family very well. We saw that we had similar values, that we could create a good partnership. It made sense to take things to the next level and set up a joint venture. Since day one, NEMM’s commitment to the process has never faltered. They have been so driven, keen to learn, do more and get involved in the business operations from a day-to-day perspective”.

Isak Buitendag, Fortescue Director External Affairs said that this agreement represents the culmination of 18 months of hard work and dedication by the Bung family, Western Plant Hire and Fortescue. “It is wonderful to see NEMMS reaping the benefits of their effort to secure this joint venture with Western Plant Hire to service the resources industry. We look forward to seeing this joint venture create employment opportunities and develop an economic base for the benefit of NEMMS and their community”.

Sue Bergersen, Business and Workforce Development Manager for Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation, assisted NEMMS in the agreement negotiations. “This commercial arrangement is a very real and tangible example of the effort being undertaken by traditional owners in the Pilbara to change their futures. This partnership utilises current mining and market opportunities to build financial capacity, independence and employment pathways for family members”, she said. 

Perth Celebrates West Australian Aboriginal Art through Revealed Exhibition and Marketplace

Posted: April 12th, 2013

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Come down to the Revealed exhibition and marketplace in Perth this weekend for the opportunity to view and buy Aboriginal artworks directly from the artists creating them.

The Revealed exhibition presents work from new and emerging West Australian Aboriginal artists, and runs from 13 April to 4 May at the Central Institute of Technology in Northbridge.

To kick off the exhibition, the Perth Cultural Centre will come alive on Saturday 13 April with the Revealed marketplace, where visitors can both purchase art and take part in array of activities celebrating Aboriginal culture.

The State Library of WA will also be holding a free symposium in the afternoon, which explores current issues in the Indigenous art industry and highlights creativity and innovation from regional WA.

For more information on the exhibition and a list of activities taking place at the marketplace, visit

Local Art and Stories Wanted for Zest Festival

Posted: April 11th, 2013

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This year’s Zest Festival organisers are calling on people with a ‘story to tell’ to submit sculptures, stories and objects for presentation at two exhibitions at the Kalbarri event in September this year.

The ‘Binding Realities Sculpture Exhibition’ will showcase sculptures on the Murchison River Foreshore, while the ‘Far from Home Exhibition’ will display objects and their associated stories.

The Festival, taking place 21-22 September 2013, commemorates the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the Dutch East India Company merchant ship, the Zuytdorp.

Expressions of Interest for participating in the ‘Binding Realities Sculpture Exhibition’ close 15 May, and 31 May for the ‘Far from Home Exhibition’.

To receive an expression of interest information pack, email

For more information on the event, visit the Zest Festival website.

Parliamentary Conference for Indigenous Women

Posted: April 9th, 2013

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who want to engage with the political system are encouraged to take part in ‘Straight Talk’, an upcoming conference in Canberra focusing on relationship building between Indigenous women and parliamentarians.

The program is run by Oxfam Australia, who will select 60 Indigenous women aged 18 years and over to take part, from a variety of social backgrounds throughout Australia.

While participants do not need political experience, they should be be active in making change and learning new skills.

Straight Talk will be held from 16-21 June in Canberra, with travel, accommodation and meals provided. Applications close 22 April 2013.

For eligibility and application requirements, go to and for more information or application assistance, contact Lisa Wojciechowski on (03) 9289 9236.

Country is our mother, the provider and keeper of cultural belongings. Country and Culture go together. You can’t have one without the other.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians throughout Western Australia, and on whose Country we work. We acknowledge and respect their deep connection to their lands and waterways.

We honour and pay respect to Elders, and to their ancestors who survived and cared for Country.

Our offices are located on Whadjuk Country, Southern Yamatji Country, Yinggarda Country, Kariyarra Country, and Yawuru Country. We recognise the continuing culture, traditions, stories and living cultures on these lands and commit to building a brighter future together.

Disclaimer: Caution: Please be advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased people.

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