Country, Culture, People, Future


Funding available for Cultural Heritage Projects: Applications are now OPEN!

Posted: August 24th, 2022

Grant applications are now open for the 2022-23 Preserve, Promote and Protect our Aboriginal Sites Grants Program as part of the State Government’s commitment to supporting Aboriginal groups to manage their unique and rich heritage as well as providing training and development opportunities.

Incorporated Aboriginal not-for-profit organisations are invited to apply for a share of $500,000 with grants of up to $40,000 being offered for projects that include sites listed on the Register of Aboriginal Places and Objects.

The grants will enable Aboriginal communities to undertake physical on-the-ground works and will also support recipients to undertake historical and archaeological research and deliver truth-telling projects.

For more information about the program and to submit an application visit

Applications close on Friday 21 October 2022.

Free Mobile Mammogram Screening in the Pilbara

Posted: August 4th, 2022

BreastScreen WA’s FREE mobile screening mammogram service is coming soon to the Pilbara, so if you’re a woman aged 50 years and over, make your appointment now!

The BreastScreen WA’s mobile clinic will be located at the:
Hedland Health Campus
Colebatch Way, South Hedland
Dates: 5 – 14 September 20225

All women aged 40 years and over with no breast symptoms are welcome to attend.

Bookings are now open and can be made online or by calling 13 20 50. For more information see BreastScreen WA’s website.

Midwest COVID 19 Vaccination Clinics

Posted: August 3rd, 2022

Get your free COVID-19 vaccine dose or booster (if eligible) to ensure you have the best protection against COVID-19.

COVID Vaccination, including the Booster, is the most powerful tool to protect individuals, families, and older community members from getting very sick from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
Updated advice from the ATAGI now recommends you wait THREE MONTHS after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, to receive your next dose. Walk-ins are available for both child and adult vaccines.
COVID-19 Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics will be available in the Midwest during August. See below for the following locations:

Mount Magnet
Anzac Hall
88 Hepburn St, Mount Magnet
Tues 9 August 2022
9.00am – 3.00pm

RSL Hall
239 Hampton St, Northampton
Thurs 18 August 2022
10.00am – 2.30pm

Keep up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations and if eligible get your Flu vaccine at the same time!

Early registrations open: National Indigenous Empowerment Summit 2022

Posted: July 28th, 2022

Darwin is hosting the 2022 National Indigenous Empowerment Summit on 2- 4 November.

Over 50 speakers will present across the three streams: Indigenous Education, Indigenous Employment and Indigenous Economic Development. The summit aims to “provide pathways for empowerment through improved access to Indigenous education, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into employment and accelerating Indigenous businesses to thrive.”

Summit presenters include: Hon Selena Jane Maliljarri Uibo MLA (NT Minister for Aboriginal Affairs), Nova Peris OAM OLY MAICD (Olympian and Former Senator), Jerome Cubillo (Chief Executive Office, Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network), Aunty Flo Watson OAM (Chairperson and Elder Teralba Park Stolen Generations Support Group) and Ken Riddiford (Chief Executive Officer, Stronger Smarter Institute).

Early Registration has opened here and further information is available from the event site.

Indigenous focus in State of the Environment report

Posted: July 22nd, 2022

The recently released Australia State of the Environment 2021 report has combined scientific, traditional and local knowledge with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together for the first time to create an overall holistic assessment.

Conducted every five years, the inclusion of Indigenous authors, an entire Indigenous-led theme and Indigenous-specific case studies marks a significant change to the reporting – with the CSIRO highly supportive of the approach.

Australia State of the Environment 2021 aims to help shape policy and action, influence behaviours and highlight the complex relationships between Country, culture and people.

The report noted:

  • There is a deep interconnection between the health of Country and the health of Indigenous people.
  • Indigenous knowledge and sustainable cultural practice are key to environmental management.
  • Indigenous cultural principles need greater recognition in environmental management and development approvals where other values, such as economic goals, often override them.

Major themes regarding Indigenous stakeholders’ expectations from both the government and report included the need for:

  • An Indigenous voice present in the national environmental discussion with increased participation in decision-making.
  • Better valuing Indigenous knowledge (from traditional knowledge-holders, not just Indigenous scientists).
  • Genuine engagement with realistic timeframes. Governments should reach out to all levels of community to include the diversity of Indigenous voices, recognising traditional knowledge often sits at a grassroots level.
  • Community-led solutions tailored to individual communities.
  • Continually collecting information in the years between reports.
  • Using plain English, so everyone can understand.
  • Long-term commitments from government, industry and community partners, in terms of programs and investments.
  • Removing barriers that Indigenous communities are expected to overcome to access resourcing.
  • More training programs to support caring for Country.

View the whole Australia State of the Environment 2021 report or go straight to the Indigenous chapter.

NAIDOC Week 2022 Feature: Cultural Heritage Protection

Posted: July 8th, 2022

Today, YMAC acknowledges and pays tribute to the many strong leaders in our regions – past, present, and emerging – who Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for improved cultural heritage protections. Today we highlight the outstanding efforts of YMAC Deputy Co- Chairperson – Pilbara Region, Mrs Doris Eaton.

Mrs Eaton is a highly respected Njamal/Pitjakarli/Nyangumarta Elder from the Pilbara region. She was the first woman to be elected as Co-Chairperson of YMAC’s Board of Directors, and she retains a position as its Deputy Co-Chairperson to-date. Through these roles, she has evidenced her ardent leadership in myriad ways. However, we wish to focus on her immense contribution to the protection, preservation and promotion of Aboriginal culture and heritage; in particular, her actions as a driving force challenging planned changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 over the years.

Following the introduction of both the Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Bill 2014 and then the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2021, Mrs Eaton strove to ensure other Aboriginal people were informed about what was being proposed and lead the charge in demanding their voices heard in response. As part of this work, she called for the reinstatement of the Yule River Bush Meetings, championed a 1,600-signature strong petition opposing amendments, headed Traditional Owner delegations to Parliament, facilitated community information sessions, and lead protest demonstrations in Perth and the Pilbara.

Through her actions, Mrs Eaton has played a pivotal role in heightening engagement of other Aboriginal people on this important issue and advocating that any introduced changes function to empower Traditional Owners and their decision-making in all matters affecting them. Her primary objectives are to safeguard an enduring legacy underpinned by proper, genuine consultation and the necessity for Aboriginal people to determine best practices for conserving and managing their cultural heritage, including sites of significance; with this all aligning with her overall goal to promote the uniqueness and importance of Aboriginal Law, customs and practices, and the opportunities and benefits of uniting these with mainstream systems and processes could produce.

Speaking about what has motivated her the most, Mrs Eaton has said:

“I am my father’s daughter; he inspired me through his involvement in the 1946 Pilbara Strike. Through his encouragement, and that from my cultural Law Elders, I wanted to be a role model too. Now, I want to see our younger people stepping up, and I want to help guide them, so they can continue this important journey.

I want part of my legacy to be about how I stood up for our sites of significance, our cultural heritage, our spiritual connection to Country, and did what I could to protect it all for future generations.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may contain images of deceased people.

Expression of Interest: Calling all Kariyarra, Nyamal and Ngarla Artists

Posted: July 8th, 2022

The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Internal Working Group for the Town of Port Hedland are seeking an Expression of Interest from all Kariyarra, Nyaml and Ngarla Artists to submit an original design for the new Town of Port Hedland uniforms for employees to proudly wear in the community.

 With the Town’s colour palette in mind, this will be an opportunity for artists to create artwork that represents their connection to Port Hedland and its surrounding areas.

 Artworks can be submitted via photo attachment (must be at least a 5-megabyte attachment), addressed to the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Internal Working Group

If you have any questions, please contact Erica Thompson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer via email or on 08 9158 9791.


NAIDOC Week 2022 Feature: Pilbara Strike

Posted: July 7th, 2022

Today, YMAC acknowledges and pays tribute to those strong leaders from our Pilbara region who showed us how to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! when they led the 1946 Pilbara Strike.

In 1946, Aboriginal pastoral workers commenced their well-organised public pursuit for better pay and working conditions in the Pilbara. Hundreds of people walked off more than 20 stations, affecting about 10,000 square kilometres of farming country in the region. At its height, at least 800 people were on strike, and by 1949 award rates were finally won. Having lasted for three years, it remains the longest strike in Australia’s history, and, understandably, holds great historical significance.

The strikers’ strength and resolve to ensure a fairer future for themselves, as well as generations to come, has since become an inspiration for many. Their bravery and determination forced changes that helped initiate the restoration and recognition of their basic human rights.

Each year, the anniversary of the 1946 Pilbara Strike also draws attention to the legacy of the courageous actions of these Pilbara people who stood up for their rights and made their voices heard.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may contain images of deceased people.

NAIDOC Week 2022 Feature: Yamatji on Country

Posted: July 6th, 2022

Today, YMAC acknowledges and pays tribute to those strong leaders in our Yamatji region who Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for improved conditions and opportunities for themselves and their communities, as well as future generations to come.

The second Yamatji on Country is set to take place 3 and 4 August 2022. These events are organised at the request of YMAC’s Yamatji Regional Committee and are intended to provide a forum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across the region to come together to build relationships, discuss issues important to them, identify solutions to address concerns, and celebrate achievements to-date. They are also an occasion for government and other stakeholders to attend, engage, and collaborate on how to best make positive changes.

Those involved in the inaugural Yamatji on Country were resolved in their position to oppose and reject the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2021 on the basis that it contradicted and undermined the self-determination rights and privileges of Traditional Owners, and restricted their voice, dismissed their cultural authority and denied any delegation in decision-making processes that involve protecting and preserving land, culture, language, heritage and interests. This united front helped to inform and fortify YMAC’s broader advocacy work on this matter and demonstrated to the State Government the strength and resilience of the community to stand up for what they believe is right and fair.

Continuing in this vein, the 2022 gathering will see our Yamatji community leaders once again leading important conversations and standing up to voice their positions when they meet with other decision-makers and influencers. To this end, we commend them for their commitment to ensuring real and meaningful change is realised to the benefit of not only them and their communities now, but for generations to come, across the entire region.

For more information about this year’s Yamatji on Country, click here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may contain images of deceased people.