Country, Culture, People, Future

April 2020

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

Boost to Indigenous Businesses and Communities – COVID -19

Posted: April 15th, 2020


The Australian Government is making $123 million available over two financial years to support Indigenous businesses and communities who are impacted by COVID-19.

Through Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) a new support package of up to $50 million has been developed for Indigenous businesses affected by the crisis.

The new support package also includes:

  • Access to specialist advice such as a rapid assessment of business positioning, cash-flow management and assistance to access available stimulus measures.
  • Where an Indigenous business is not eligible for other government stimulus packages, it can apply for working capital assistance of up to $100,000 via a loan/grant package (assessed on a needs basis), which will consist of:
    • A grant of up to 50% of the package amount;
    • For the loan component, up to 36 months loan term, zero repayments for the first 12 months, and preferential interest rates thereafter.

These measures follow earlier COVID-19 relief announced by IBA for both its customers and non-IBA customers that include a waiver of interest and deferral of loan repayments for business loan and equipment leasing customers for an initial 4-month period, a reduction in interest rates for all IBA home loan customers for an initial period of 6 months, as well as deferral of repayments for home loan customers in hardship.

Read the full IBA media release here

Timeframe amended for new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill due to COVID-19

Posted: April 15th, 2020

Last month Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation requested the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Wyatt consider postponing the final consultation on the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020, to allow the Aboriginal community, key stakeholders and the State Government to focus on the immediate response to COVID-19.

On 9 April the State Government announced it would reschedule the final consultation until COVID-19 has subsided, to ensure the reform has the appropriate level of consultation.

The Aboriginal heritage protection reform process has been subject to extensive consultation over the past two years, resulting in a broad consensus of key stakeholders – principally Aboriginal people and the mining industry – on the fundamental components and direction of the proposed Bill.

Work will continue in the interim with key stakeholders before the Bill is released for final public comment.

Please view the full media release here


COVID-19 testing criteria expanded in WA

Posted: April 3rd, 2020

WA Health Minister Roger Cook MLA announced recently that the testing criteria for COVID-19 will be expanded significantly at all COVID-19 clinics in WA.

Any person from the general public presenting with BOTH a fever higher than 38°C AND an acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough, sore throat) will be tested.

Also anyone working within a high-risk setting that presents with EITHER a fever higher than 38°C OR an acute respiratory infection will be tested. This includes healthcare workers (including aged care and disability workers) and Western Australian Police Officers.

Testing will also be arranged for anyone from the following high-risk settings where two or more people are experiencing EITHER a fever higher than, or equal to 38°C  OR an acute respiratory infection:

  • aged and residential care;
  • rural and remote Aboriginal communities;
  • detention centres;
  • correctional facilities;
  • boarding schools;
  • military barracks or equivalent;
  • geographically localised areas with increased risk of community transmission; and
  • cruise ship passengers or returned travellers (international and domestic).

Members of the public can telephone the COVID-19 Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice.

More information here

$123 million boost to Indigenous response to COVID-19

Posted: April 3rd, 2020


Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced today that $123 million is available over two financial years for targeted measures to support Indigenous businesses and communities to increase their responses to COVID-19.

Assistance includes support through Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), who will provide Indigenous businesses with specialist advice on how to help businesses survive, adapt, recover, and access the different business support packages available from the Government.

The National Indigenous Australians Agency is also supporting a variety of agencies to look at how local Indigenous workers can help address workforce shortages, particularly in regional and remote areas where the usual workforce is unavailable.

Funding will go to regional and remote communities while travel restrictions are in place so they are prepared and responsive to evolving issues that emerge during the crisis.

See the full Media Release here

New laws being introduced to keep West Australians safe and well during COVID-19

Posted: April 1st, 2020

On Tuesday 31 March, the State Government introduced new legislation into State Parliament to specifically address COVID-19. The Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 is designed to help keep West Australians safe and well.

For detailed information on the legislation and what it means, see the Premier’s announcement here.

RECOV19ER website launched to help coordinate COVID-19 response

Posted: April 1st, 2020

A group of proactive Pilbara Aboriginal leaders have helped to establish an emergency COVID-19 response working group and website to help people across Western Australia.

The website – – is intended to share clear, current and correct information, including government media releases and other health and community advice for people in WA being affected by the ongoing changes impacting regional and remote areas.

The RECOV19ER working group involves a large number of local Aboriginal organisations – including several Prescribed Bodies Corporate – as well a number of government agencies and other service providers, who meet daily via teleconference to coordinate information and support.

Current priorities for the group are ensuring strong, accurate messaging to Aboriginal communities (especially remote communities) and securing/confirming essential supplies, e.g. food security and access to health/medical/hygiene provisions.

Full media statement can be found here

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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