Country, Culture, People, Future

July 2021

2021 Census participation support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Posted: July 28th, 2021

The 2021 Census is happening soon and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff from the Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics have been working with communities across Australia to get Census-ready. Remote communities are counted by Census staff throughout July and August.

It’s important to include all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the count. The data from the 2021 Census will be more important than ever. It will provide valuable insights into how the pandemic has changed life in Australia.
There are various resources to support communities in getting Census-ready. These include a conversation guide, and other materials to help promote participation.

There are also stories about how Census data has benefited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. For example, how Orange Aboriginal Medical Service used Census data to plan its new well-being centre, Walu-Win, for the local community.

All the resources are available for you to download and share on your channels, as well as help answer any questions from your community.

Health and safety of remote communities and census staff are of the highest priority during the collection process. As the situation of Covid-19 develops across multiple states and territories the collection approach will be adapted to suit local circumstances. Visit the Census website for the latest updates.

You can also get follow on Facebook for up to date information.

Grants program supporting connection to Country

Posted: July 27th, 2021

The State Government of Western Australia has announced a new $25,000 grants program. The Connecting to Country grants program forms part of the State Government’s Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing; a comprehensive response to the Coroner’s Inquest and Learnings from the Message Stick report into Aboriginal youth suicide.

The program aims to provide funding support to projects that enable Western Australian Aboriginal people and organisations to undertake on-Country activities that foster the intergenerational transfer of knowledge, preservation of culture and strengthening of communities. Up to $25,000 can be granted for each activity or project.

Applications are now open to community organisations, individuals, local governments, groups, industry representative bodies, education institutions and Aboriginal communities that provide support to culture and arts projects and initiatives that renew links between community, Country and culture. Applications are open until August 26, 2021.

Connecting to Country is administered by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.  For more information, to view past grant recipients and to submit an application please visit

Heal Country – what it means to Raylene Button

Posted: July 9th, 2021

At YMAC we have been inspired by the voices and words of Traditional Owners shared during NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Raylene Button, of Palyku and of Kariyarra Country, paints a beautiful picture of what healing and caring for Country means to her in her own words.

Thank you to Raylene for sharing with us what inspires her.

We invite you to share your special message with us – What does Heal Country mean to you?

CATSI Amendment Bill needs your feedback

Posted: July 9th, 2021

The Australian Government is bringing forward a Bill to amend the CATSI Act in line with recommendations made in the CATSI Act Review final report, released early this year.

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is seeking your feedback on a draft of the CATSI Amendment Bill which has been published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.

Accompanying the exposure draft is a guide that maps the recommendations from the final report to the items of the exposure draft. Fact sheets are also available that outline the draft changes in each part of the CATSI Amendment Bill.

The NIAA would like feedback from stakeholders about those aspects of the Bill they support, in addition to any concerns regarding practical barriers or unintended consequences associated with implementation. The NIAA is also interested in feedback on the clarity, readability and complexity of the draft legislation.

Written submissions to can be sent until 9:00am Monday, 9 August 2021. Or you can register to attend a virtual consultation session here.

Please contact the team at or on (02) 6271 5111, if the consultation options are not accessible to you so that we can arrange an alternative mechanism for you to provide feedback.

What does Heal Country mean to you? Sean McNeair tells us

Posted: July 8th, 2021

Sean McNeair is a Malgana man from Gutharraguda, Shark Bay. His message in this video covers only a small part of what healing and caring for Country means for Sean.

We ask you to take one minute of time to watch, listen, learn, think, and share – what does Heal Country mean to you?

Thanks to Ben Pankhurst from Bush Heritage for sharing some of his vision to be used in this video.

#healcountry #heritageprotectionforlife#naidocweek2021 #naidocweek #bushheritage #YMAC

Celebrating NAIDOC Week – Heal Country

Posted: July 6th, 2021

This year’s national NAIDOC theme, Heal Country! calls for everyone to continue to recognise the uniqueness of our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and seek greater protections and for Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The right to protect Country and culture is fundamental.

At Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, YMAC, ‘Heal Country’ perfectly describes the goal that our work aims to achieve.

Everyone has a role to play in healing Country. YMAC strongly believes one key part of this process is reform of the laws underpinning heritage protection – including Western Australia’s Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972). We have been actively advocating for planned new heritage laws to Legislate the right to say ‘no’, consultation rights and the need for Aboriginal heritage to be considered early in a development process and continue to be considered as new information comes to light, both before and after agreements have been made.

The proposed new legislation – the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill – represents a once-in-a generation opportunity to make sure Aboriginal cultural heritage gets the recognition it deserves, and to find the right balance between heritage protection and economic outcomes for all parties.

During NAIDOC Week we will share what ‘Heal Country’ means to some of our members and important advocates.

We encourage you to share pictures of your Country and let us at YMAC know, what does ‘Heal Country’ mean to you.

Don’t forget to tag us in your posts!

And if you or someone you know has a special story you would like to share please email us at so we can get in touch.

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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