Country, Culture, People, Future

Law Reform

YMAC is continuously advocating for legislative reforms on behalf of Traditional Owners that will:  

  • better protect their rights and interests;  
  • result in them holding an equitable position in negotiations and agreement-making; and  
  • enhance opportunities for their advancement and securement of prosperous futures. 

More recently, this work has included being a sector leader in response to the McGowan Government’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2021 (WA) (ACH Bill); an extension of previous efforts when amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) have been proposed.  

Despite the ACH Bill being passed in WA Parliament in December 2021, YMAC is proud of its efforts highlighting the inadequacies of the new legislation and related government processes. We also remain committed to drawing attention to issues that fall short of Traditional Owner expectations and will continue to demand best practice approaches when it comes to protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage (at both state and federal level).  

In addition to this work, and, in part, as a response to the “Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000 Year Old Caves at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara”, YMAC has developed aRoadmap to Reform’. This framework outlines basic requirements necessary to ensure alignment between legislation across jurisdictions, and addresses the current power imbalance and inequity faced by Traditional Owners. 

More recently, YMAC has also joined the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance (FNHPA) to further its advocacy efforts. FNHPA is comprised of a number of member organisations representing First Nations peoples from across Australia, including major Native Title, Land Rights, Traditional Owner, and community-controlled organisations. Together, the alliance members aim to build strong partnerships with First Nations peoples and organisations, governments, industry and investor groups that put First Nations peoples in the driving seat of reform and management of their cultural heritage. To learn more about FNHPA’s work, visit www.culturalheritage.org.au.

You can read YMAC’s submissions on these topics and more here, and keep up-to-date on opportunities to be consulted on policies and legislation impacting Traditional Owner rights and interests by regularly visiting our Announcements.