Country, Culture, People, Future

September 2021

Truth telling project for Wadjemup

Posted: September 14th, 2021

An important project to recognise the history of Aboriginal imprisonment and heal the impacts of Aboriginal incarceration Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) continues to gather pace.

Between 1839 and 1931 more than 4000 Aboriginal men and boys were forcibly taken to Wadjemup and almost 400 never returned. Many of them came from within YMAC’s representative regions – the mid-West, Murchison, Gascoyne and Pilbara.

The Western Australian Government is working in partnership with the Whadjuk, Noongar and greater Aboriginal communities to formally acknowledge and reconcile the Aboriginal prison history on the Island. Whadjuk Elders and Leaders have developed a decision-making structure to support Aboriginal governance within the project, known as a Cultural Authority Framework. It is being implemented with the support of Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Rottnest Island Authority.

The project is intended to include truth-telling, ceremony, and commemoration through memorials.

Your voices are vital to ensuring the State Government can work with Aboriginal communities to heal the impacts of the trauma that occurred on the island. To find out more about the Wadjemup Project and how to get involved contact Aboriginal Productions and Promotions at or

Wadjemup Project information brochure

State Government releases ‘Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy 2021-2029’ and ‘Closing the Gap Implementation Plan’

Posted: September 9th, 2021

The State Government has recently announced the release of both its revised ‘Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy 2021-2029’ and Western Australia’s first ‘Closing the Gap Implementation Plan’.

As part of their release, the State Government has declared these are “two significant documents that, together, represent an important step forward on the journey of resetting the relationships between Aboriginal people and the Government in Western Australia”.

As described in the respective documents:

  • The Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy 2021-2029 sets out how the State Government will direct its efforts towards a future in which all Aboriginal people, families and communities are empowered to live good lives and choose their own futures from a secure foundation.
  • The Closing the Gap Implementation Plan outlines how the State Government will meet its commitments under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. It builds on the foundations of the Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy 2021-2029, setting out a long-term whole-of-government approach and how departments will work with Aboriginal Western Australians to ensure Aboriginal people, families and communities are empowered to live good lives and choose their own futures, from a secure foundation.

Having submitted a response to the December 2019 discussion paper, A Path Forward: Developing the Western Australian Government’s Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy, YMAC is pleased to see the State Government has incorporated some of the feedback provided. For example, it is particularly encouraging to see the inclusion of ‘truth-telling’ as a fundamental element of the revised strategy, as well as the retainment of ‘culture’ at the centre of all its objectives.

This level of encouragement appears to be shared by the Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Australia (the Council), with its two Co-Chairs, Gail Beck and Martin Sibosado, stating: “The Council welcomes the release of the Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy and this first iteration of the Government’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan; both important steps in building a deeper relationship between Aboriginal citizens of Western Australia and the State Government… It is vital that Government recognises the centrality of culture for Aboriginal people and engages with us in the spirit of genuine partnership to develop solutions that improve our own lives. The Council has been clear in advising the Government that we expect to see our people participating as equals across the State.”

If you would like more information about either of these documents, please email or call 08 6552 5333.

Pilbara COVID-19 vaccination clinics – Tom Price and Paraburdoo

Posted: September 8th, 2021

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) has announced COVID-19 vaccination clinics for both Tom Price and Paraburdoo on the following dates:

Tom Price Community Hall (1 Central Road, Tom Price)

Friday, 17 September – Tuesday, 21 September (9am – 6pm each day)

Ashburton Hall Paraburdoo (Ashburton Avenue, Paraburdoo)

Thursday, 23 September (9am – 6pm)

The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine will be available at these locations to everyone aged 12 and over to ‘roll up to protect the Pilbara’. Noting, while anyone eligible wanting the vaccine will be able to receive it, local families are especially encouraged to come down and do their bit to protect the community.

To register and book an appointment, visit (however, walk-ins will also be welcome).

Mass Vaccination Clinics are coming soon to the Pilbara

Preserve, Promote and Protect our Aboriginal Sites grants program

Posted: September 7th, 2021

Grants of up to $30,000 are on offer for Aboriginal Communities to help manage, promote and safekeep registered Aboriginal heritage sites across WA, courtesy of the State Government.

The 2021-22 Preserve, Promote and Protect our Aboriginal Sites grants program is being administered by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and is open to Incorporated Aboriginal not-for-profit organisations with the grants going towards on the ground works such as remediation of burial sites, fence and signage information and promotion of cultural information.

Projects must be registered on the Register of Aboriginal Place and Objects to be eligible for funding.

You can find out more here or call (08) 6551 7920.

Applications for funding close on 15 October, 2021.

CATSI Amendment Bill referred for Senate inquiry

Posted: September 7th, 2021

The Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Amendment Bill 2021 (the CATSI Amendment Bill) was introduced into Parliament by the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP, on Wednesday, 25 August 2021.

Following its introduction, the CATSI Amendment Bill was referred for inquiry to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee (the Committee), which is accepting submissions until 17 September 2021 (and is expected to report by 14 October 2021). The reason for this referral is to further consider the impact of the bill on standards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

The CATSI Amendment Bill has been the subject of an ongoing review and related consultations, most recently of which informed an exposure draft, which was published on the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) website on 8 July 2021. Feedback on the exposure draft was accepted through to 9 August 2021.

NIAA has since published a report that summarises the feedback received during the exposure draft consultation process. This report can also be viewed on NIAA’s website here, while the individual submissions received as part of this process, including YMAC’s, can be accessed here.

Should you wish to know more about the current inquiry and/or track its progress, please visit the Committee’s webpage here.

Should you wish to make a submission to the inquiry, please follow the parliamentary lodgment instructions, accessible here.

Mary G helps busts COVID-19 vaccination myths.

Posted: September 3rd, 2021

Aboriginal personality Mary G and leading Australian paediatric physician, Dr Jonathan Carapetis have teamed up to bust myths and answer questions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

On the night of Wednesday September 8 tune in to the Mary G radio show where the interview will be replayed in full covering some frequently asked questions including:

  • Why have Aboriginal people been prioritised to receive the vaccine?
  • How it was been implemented for First Nations people around the world
  • Why is it still important for everyone to get the vaccine, including pregnant and breastfeeding women?
  • How do the vaccines work?

If you’re unable to have a listen more information and the interview can be found at COVID-19 resources for Aboriginal people (

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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