Country, Culture, People, Future

February 2021

2021 Pilbara Community Services Excellence Awards

Posted: February 24th, 2021

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Pilbara Community Services Excellence Awards (and close on Friday, 2 April 2021 at 5pm).

YMAC is proud to be, once again, sponsoring one of the award categories this year: “Community Spirit (Volunteer)”.

Other individual categories include “Young Champion of the Year” and “Community Hero of the Year”; while organisations (small and medium/large) can be nominated for their “Impact”, “Innovation”, and “Partnerships”.

Winners will be announced at a special Gala Dinner, to be held at the Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha on Saturday, 19 June 2021.

The awards this year will celebrate the resilience, creativity, collaboration and leadership of both individuals and organisations working in the community services sector across the Pilbara. Over the past year, the sector has faced many challenges and has had to respond with courage, spirit, innovation and determination to ensure the continuation of essential services to Pilbara communities and families.  These awards will celebrate community heroes – organisations and individuals, leaders, youth and volunteers – who have gone above and beyond to make a difference to Pilbara communities.

Nominating for these awards provides a fantastic opportunity for Pilbara individuals and organisations to be recognised and celebrated for their dedication, passion and achievements.  It also provides an opportunity to showcase and promote your organisation and services to the wider Pilbara community.

For more information about the awards, including how to make a nomination, you can download this brochure.

You might also like to register for the online information session on ‘how to prepare a winning award submission’ being held via Zoom on Thursday, 25 February 2021 at 12pm. To register your interest in attending this session, please email Karen at Pilbara for Purpose:



Western Australian of the Year Awards (nominations close Friday, 26 February).

Posted: February 19th, 2021

Following the postponement of the 2020 awards due to COVID-19, the ‘2021 Western Australian of the Year Awards’ will be acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of Western Australians over the past two years.

These awards recognise outstanding contributions to our state by those born and bred in Western Australia, or those who have chosen to make Western Australia their home, in the following categories:

  • Aboriginal: Presented in celebration of excellence in professional and/or personal achievements at a state, national or international level, contributing to the Western Australian community and recognition as an inspirational role model in the Aboriginal community.
  • Arts & Culture: Presented in celebration of excellence in achievement and/or significant contribution at a state, national or international level to the development, promotion and profiling of arts and culture disciplines in Western Australia.
  • Business: Presented in celebration of excellence and outstanding ethics in business leadership, social entrepreneurship or innovation at a state, national or international level, resulting in major positive social or economic impact in Western Australia.
  • Community: Presented in celebration of excellence in commitment to, and contribution towards, improving the quality of lives in the Western Australian community, at a state, national or international level.
  • Professions: Presented in celebration of excellence resulting in major social, scientific or economic impact at a state, national or international level.
  • Sport: Presented in celebration of excellence in achievement, development or promotion of sport at a state, national or international level, with a focus on contribution to the Western Australian community.
  • Youth: Presented in celebration of excellence in leadership, mentoring or artistic pursuits at a state, national or international level amongst 18 to 30 year olds, positively impacting the lives of Western Australians.

The online process to nominate someone for an award is simple and should take just a few minutes.

You can make nominations online by visiting:

Or, alternatively, email, to request a nomination form.

Please note, nominations must be received by Celebrate WA by Friday, 26 February 2021 to be eligible for consideration.


CATSI Act Review Final Report

Posted: February 17th, 2021

The review of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) has been completed, with the final report published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s (NIAA’s) website.

The final report reflects the feedback received during the second phase of consultation and makes 72 recommendations outlining changes to the CATSI Act, suggesting further consideration of some aspects of the CATSI Act and identifying additional support that could be provided to corporations incorporated under the CATSI Act.

The Australian Government is considering the Final Report with a view to bringing forward a bill to amend the CATSI Act in due course.


NIAA Announcement: Recognition Consultation Process begins for Native Title Representative Bodies.

Posted: February 16th, 2021

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, has invited the Torres Strait Regional Authority, North Queensland Land Council, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, and Kimberley Land Council to apply for recognition as the native title representative body for their regions from 1 July 2021.

Native title representative bodies help people to make native title claims and agreements. These four organisations are currently the native title representative bodies for their regions. Their current terms expire on 30 June 2021.

People with native title interests in one or more of the regions covered by these organisations, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in those regions can make a submission about the relevant organisation to inform the Minister’s decision.

Submissions are due by 5.00 pm AEDST on 19 March 2021 and can be made via email to

For more information, including how to send submissions by post, visit or contact the NIAA on 1800 079 098.

Each organisation will be given an opportunity to comment on submissions made about them.

Perth travel rules 5-14 February – translated audio messages in Aboriginal languages

Posted: February 8th, 2021

The State Government has produced 30 second audio messages advising people of the transitional travel rules in and out of Perth until 14 February 2021.

The messages are recorded in English, Martu, Ngaanyatjarra and Kriol, along with a  plain English transcript below. These messages will be playing on a number of Aboriginal radio stations across WA this week.

Transcript is as follows:

This is a government message about Corona rules for Perth and Peel until February 14.

Until February 14, you can only go in and out of Perth and Peel for serious reasons.

Wear a mask everywhere in Perth and Peel

If you leave these areas, still wear your mask everywhere.

Police can ask you for a letter from your doctor or boss with your serious reason for travel.

Remember, anyone who feels like they have the flu should call the clinic or hospital straight away and get a Corona test.

This is a Government message spoken by Aboriginal Interpreting WA.





Federal Government passes reforms of Native Title Legislation

Posted: February 8th, 2021

The Senate has passed the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) with a specific date to be announced of when the new measures will commence.

The Bill amends the Native Title  Act 1993 (Native Title Act) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) to improve native title claims resolution, agreement-making, Indigenous decision-making and dispute resolution processes, including to:

  1. give greater flexibility to native title claim groups to set their internal processes;
  2. streamline and improve native title claims resolution and agreement-making;
  3. allow historical extinguishment over areas of national and state park to be disregarded where the parties agree;
  4. increase the transparency and accountability of registered native title bodies corporate (RNTBCs); and
  5. create new pathways to address native title-related disputes arising following a native title determination.

Time will be given to ensure that native title claim groups have time to consider the effect of the changes on how their claim will be managed, and to change their internal processes if necessary.

The Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) can provide information, guidance and support around the process to update rule books.

The NIAA will be producing a factsheet on the new requirements which will be made available to RNTBCs and Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs).

The ORIC has also agreed to develop a generic rule book template that native title holders could consider when responding to the new requirements.

Please read the joint media release for further information.

Applications open for Reconciliation Australia’s ‘Indigenous Governance Awards 2021

Posted: February 4th, 2021

Reconciliation Australia’s ‘Indigenous Governance Program’ recognises, supports, and promotes strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander governance and self-determination. More than ever, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and leaders are drawing on 60,000 years plus of First Nations knowledge and culture to adapt to current events with resilience, creativity and decisiveness.

To acknowledge and share such success stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations around Australia, each year, Reconciliation Australia runs their ‘Indigenous Governance Awards’. Applying for the awards is a great opportunity to reflect on the governance of your organisation or group and to receive expert advice based on your application (noting, all applications receive feedback from the judging panel).

There are three categories of award for outstanding examples of governance in Indigenous-led:

  • non-incorporated initiatives or projects
  • small to medium incorporated organisations (under $1 million annual revenue)
  • large incorporated organisations ($1 million and over annual revenue)

Category winners will receive $20,000 to assist their organisation, project or initiative, and the highly commended winners in each category will each be awarded $10,000. Additionally, all finalists receive an awards package comprising:

  • A 12-month partnership with a high profile corporate partner, who will provide mentoring and assistance in an area identified by the finalist.
  • An award to commemorate their achievement.
  • Travel for two members from each finalist organisation to attend the awards presentation event.
  • A communications package of photos and footage from the judge’s site visit to their organisation.
  • Promotion as a finalist in the Indigenous Governance Awards on the awards website and other coverage.

YMAC was honoured to have been acknowledged as a finalist in the ‘Indigenous Governance Awards 2018’. You can see more about this here.

Applications for the ‘Indigenous Governance Awards 2021’ are open now and will close on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

To find out more about the awards, please visit their website here.

Should you need any assistance completing an application, please contact

New Mid-West reserves created on Badimia Country

Posted: February 3rd, 2021

Five new conservation reserves in the Mid West have been created on Badimia Country as part of the State Government Plan for Our Parks initiative.

The Badimia traditional owners have been working collaboratively with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Parks and Wildlife Service (DBCA) to create the reserves, which span more than 114,000 hectares.

The five Badimia conservation reserves comprise parts of two former pastoral leases – Lakeside and Burnerbinmah – that were previously purchased by the State Government for conservation, and unallocated Crown land at Kirkalocka and White Wells.

Proposed Aboriginal names for the reserves are also being considered in collaboration with the Badimia traditional owners.

The area contains multiple Aboriginal sites and significant cultural and pastoral heritage. The landscape provides habitat for 563 flora species and 162 fauna species, including many threatened and priority species, and is home to significant wetlands. The majority of Badimia Country is already a major drawcard for tourists during the spring wildflower season.

Congratulations to all on this achievement, which is another step forward to enable Traditional Owners to care for Country.

YMAC Office Closures 1 February 2021

Posted: February 1st, 2021

Following the 31 January State Government announcement of a five-day lockdown in the Perth metropolitan, Peel and South West regions of Western Australia, please be aware of the following:

  • Perth: Office closed to visitors.
  • Geraldton: Office closed to visitors.
  • Port Hedland: Office closed to visitors.
  • Denham: Office closed to visitors
  • Broome: Office closed to visitors

Please be assured the safety and wellbeing of the communities in which we operate remain our highest priority. Staff across all YMAC regions will continue to work and provide services remotely. Staff can be contacted through their YMAC email and mobile phones.

Office closures will remain in place until at least 6pm Friday, 5 February 2021. Decisions about re-opening will be made as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, we hope everyone in our communities keeps safe and well as we work through these challenging times.

Please remember to keep up to date on the latest announcements via the Government agency links.

Government agencies: health information links

As the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving, the following links are useful resources to provide you with the latest information and advice to keep yourself safe:

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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