Country, Culture, People, Future


Western Australia Stolen Wages Class Action

Posted: December 18th, 2023

Shine Lawyers has shared the following information about this Class Action and asked YMAC to distribute to networks. Please distribute to those people that may need this information.

The Western Australian Government has agreed to settle the case brought by Mr Mervyn Street against the WA Government on behalf of all First Nations people who weren’t paid all their wages or money between 1936 and 1972.

The WA Government has agreed to a settlement of up to $180.4 million – depending on how many people register – which the Federal Court will need to approve before any money is paid out.

If you are part of the class action and want to get a payment from the settlement, you need to complete and send in a registration form by 30 June 2024.

You are part of the class action and can register if:

a) You are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person born before 9 June 1962;
b) Between 11 December 1936 and 9 June 1972 you worked in Western Australia and worked at some time for little of no wages;


c) You are representing a family member who qualifies and has since passed away (if you are their spouse (husband/wife/partner – married or defacto) or child)
If you don’t want to claim compensation, you don’t need to do anything. But you will still need to be a part of the case, and you will lose your legal rights if the settlement is approved.

If you want to find out more about the case, the settlement, or ask for a registration form you can:

• Call Shine Lawyers on 1800 976 150
• Email Shine Lawyers at
• Go to
• Come to an information meeting at a town near you – to see a schedule of meetings, click here.

Community Arts Network seeking community members for Aboriginal Advisory Group

Posted: December 13th, 2023

Community Arts Network (CAN) are currently seeking expressions of interest from First Nations community members living on Noongar Boodja to join their Aboriginal Advisory Group (AAG).

The AAG is a key advisory body for CAN, designed to provide the organisation with cultural advice, counsel, feedback, guidance and advocacy. Members of the AAG are paid a consultancy fee for this work.

CAN are seeking individuals who are active in supporting their community and interested in language, culture, and the arts.

Expressions of Interest are open until 5pm Friday January 12 2024. To lodge an EOI or to find out more, click here.

Funding announced for First Nations Heritage Grants

Posted: November 24th, 2023

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) have announced the first round of funding for their First Nations Heritage Grants.

The grants are design to provide funding for projects aimed at:

  • identifying new Indigenous heritage values at existing World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places,
  • preparing submissions for the addition of Indigenous heritage values to existing World Heritage and National Heritage listings,
  • increasing protection of World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places with Indigenous heritage values that may or may not be recognised in the heritage listing for the place, and
  • improving management of World Heritage and National Heritage-listed places with Indigenous heritage values that may or may not be recognised in the heritage listing for the place.

The funding is available for a wide range of applicants including PBCs, land councils, and individuals. $2 million has initially been made available, with grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000.

Applications are open until 24 January 2024. To find out more or to apply, click here.

YMAC welcomes release of First Nations Clean Energy Strategy consultation paper

Posted: November 22nd, 2023

YMAC welcomes the Federal Governments release of a consultation paper that will inform the development of Australia’s First Nations Clean Energy Strategy.

The Strategy, developed with First Nations people, is formulated to enable real partnerships that will drive investment, workforce development and First Nations business opportunities – genuine opportunities for economic empowerment of First Nations people.

Rural and remote First Nations communities face overwhelming energy insecurity, and this strategy aims to target fairer access to cleaner, reliable and cheaper energy for these communities.

The Strategy is being developed in partnership with First Nations people, with six roundtables held over the last eight months to provide feedback and guidance. Ensuring Traditional Owners are a part of the decision-making process is crucial to the success of any policy affecting their communities and Country.

The First Nations Clean Energy and Emissions Reduction Advisory Committee, on which YMAC CEO Simon Hawkins serves as an advisory member, also contributed to the consultation paper.

If you want to respond to the consultation paper, visit the DCCEEW website by clicking here.


Class action investigation announced over housing justice for Aboriginal tenants in remote communities

Posted: November 13th, 2023

Law firm Slater and Gordon have announced they are investigating a potential class action on behalf of thousands of tenants living in substandard public housing throughout remote Aboriginal communities.

The announcement comes after a landmark High Court decision that found a tenant living in the remote Central Australian community of Santa Teresa can sue their landlord for distress and disappointment over the failure to carry out repairs.

The case was argued by Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights (ALRAR), who Slater and Gordon have now teamed up with to visit several remote communities in WA and investigate properties they believe are unfit for habitation under residential tenancy laws.

The proposed class action will seek improvements to public housing in remote communities across WA, as well as financial compensation for the thousands of Aboriginal tenants who have been living in substandard properties.

The proposed claim would seek damages related to breaches of contract, including:

  • repayment of rent where the property was not reasonably comfortable or safe
  • the inconvenience experienced by tenants dealing with housing issues
  • incurred expenditure to rectify housing issues that tenants had paid for, and
  • disappointment and distress caused by housing issues.

YMAC will continue to provide updates on any potential class action lawsuit to our members and relevant PBCs.

The Biodiversity Council calls for reform to protect culturally significant species

Posted: October 18th, 2023

Image: Sam Fraser CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The Biodiversity Council is calling for reforms to include care for culturally significant species and places, including humpback whales and dingoes.

They are asking for the upcoming changes signalled by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to include the ability for Traditional Owners to list culturally significant species and places to ensure they can maintain their ongoing connection with and care for species, something that they say current policy makes difficult.

First Nations peoples’ rights and interests in land are formally recognised on over half of the country. Traditional Owners all over Australia have deep connections and cultural obligations to care for Country and the important species and places throughout.

Biodiversity Council Co-chief and Yuin man Dr Jack Pascoe pointed to his issue with the current policy, saying, “Our national legislation only provides attention to species that have declined to the point that they are threatened with extinction. This leaves many species and places of cultural importance without significant care.

“For example, species like humpback whales are not covered by the act because they are not considered at risk of extinction. If we wait for things to reach imminent risk of extinction before we conserve them we will have very little left.”

Gareth Carr of the Indigenous Desert Alliance echoed his sentiments, saying, “Many threatened species like Great Desert Skink and Bilby are of huge cultural importance and are the focus of management attention by many Indigenous Rangers and Traditional Custodians, but they are not the only species that are culturally significant.

“Other species like red kangaroos, emu, bustards and bush tomatoes are also of high cultural importance and it would be good to see an equal valuing for Indigenous led management of these species.

“Culturally significant species are subject to the same threatening pressures as other species, ensuring their numbers are stable or increasing is a high priority for Traditional Owners.”

To find out more about the Biodiversity Council and their campaigns, visit their website here.

Youth Action Plan workshops open for young West Australians

Posted: October 6th, 2023

The Department of Communities are hosting workshops for young West Australians to have their say on the development of the new Youth Action Plan (YAP).

The YAP is designed to set out the actions the State Government should take to improve outcomes for young West Australians in the next three years.

Anyone between the ages of 10 – 25 are invited to attend a session to discuss priority areas including climate change, wellbeing, connection and inclusion.

Communities will be hosting an event in Karratha at the Red Earth Arts Precinct on Friday 3 November from 4:45pm, as well as a statewide online event on Wednesday 1 November from 6pm.

To find out more or to register for an event, click here Department of Communities Events | Eventbrite.


National Native Title Council to host PBC Director Training

Posted: September 27th, 2023

The National Native Title Council is hosting PBC Director Training in Perth from Monday 16 October to Thursday 19 October, to help increase the capability and skills of PBC Directors and provide an opportunity to network with peers in a safe environment.

The four day training program is designed to give PBC Directors a greater understanding of how to better leverage Native Title rights.

The workshop will cover topics such as governance, director duties, the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), planning, and finance.

The NNTC will cover the cost of the workshop and provide catering during workshop hours only (including lunch, morning tea and afternoon tea). Participants are required to cover the costs of their travel, accommodation and all other meals outside of workshop hours.

To find out more about the workshop or to complete an application form, click here or email Debby Lovett, NNTC National Training Manager at

Geraldton Walk for Yes on 17 September

Posted: September 12th, 2023


In October, Australians will head to the polls with a chance to make history.

We will be given the chance to listen to First Nations people, recognise their history and culture, and protect their voices in the Australian constitution.

YMAC is proud to be supporting a Yes vote at the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum, having previously committed to supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

As the referendum date gets closer and momentum builds, supporters from all over Australia are joining together to Walk for Yes on Sunday 17 September, and we would love to see people attend the Geraldton event.

Everyone is welcome to join us at Stow Gardens on the foreshore in Geraldton from 9:30am to make our voices heard and support a Yes vote. This is our chance to be a part of something big.

For more details you can check out the event page by clicking 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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