Country, Culture, People, Future

Pilbara Region News

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 CATSIActReview@niaa.gov.au 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 CATSIActReview@niaa.gov.au 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 editor@ymac.org.au so we can get in touch.

2021 Pilbara Community Services Excellence Awards

Posted: June 21st, 2021

Photo Credit: Val Walker and Kathy Brooker

On Saturday, 19 June, at the Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha, the 2021 Pilbara Community Services Excellence Awards’ Gala Dinner was held. The awards celebrated the resilience, creativity, collaboration and leadership of both individuals and organisations working in the community services sector across the Pilbara.

YMAC was proud to be a supporter of this event, once again; this year sponsoring the award category “Community Spirit (Volunteer)”. When presenting this award on the night, YMAC’s Co-Chairperson, Pilbara Region – Board of Directors, Mrs Natalie Parker, acknowledged:

“YMAC chose to sponsor this award, in particular, as we feel it is so important to recognise individuals in our community who go above and beyond to help others. These are people who choose to generously and selflessly give their time and energy to support and uplift other people, and whose work positively impacts the wellbeing of our community overall. We all share a responsibility in pursuing a bright future for our region and its people, and this is achieved by us working together, supporting one another, and combining our strength, resilience and empowerment to overcome challenges and create opportunities. The finalists in this category are all excellent examples of people in our community who demonstrate such impressive dedication and commitment, and who each make outstanding contributions to the betterment of the Pilbara region.”

YMAC’s congratulations go to the joint Community Spirit (Volunteer) award winners: Val Walker and Kathy Brooker (pictured with Mrs Parker (far right) and YMAC’s Deputy Co-Chairperson, Pilbara Region – Board of Directors, Mrs Doris Eaton (far left)).

YMAC supports new First Nations Talent Portal

Posted: June 21st, 2021

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has launched its First Nations Talent Portal. The portal represents the ABC’s commitment to undertaking braver, more impactful action.

As it grows, the portal will become an invaluable resource for the ABC by enabling story-makers and content producers access to the right people for their projects.

YMAC supports the ABC’s commitment to amplifying the voices of First Nations people across their projects from behind the scenes to in front of the camera. This is a positive step to responsibly and appropriately representing Aboriginal culture and history.

We encourage First Nations people to connect directly to the ABC by submitting an interest directly through the Talent Portal.

Register for the 2021 Australian Reconciliation Convention

Posted: June 17th, 2021

The 2021 Australian Reconciliation Convention is a once-in-a-generation event.

With an ever-growing community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians willing to discuss, learn and recommit to the next steps in Australia’s reconciliation journey, this event aims to propel the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.

It will include interactive sessions, storytelling, and performances, covering the breadth and depth of how, as a nation, we are moving from safe to brave.

The event will be delivered over two days from Monday 15 November at the International Convention Centre in Sydney and is also available virtually.

2021 marks twenty years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of the Australian formal reconciliation process. Over this time, support and engagement with reconciliation has steadily grown, with far greater awareness of the complexity and magnitude of First Nations cultures and knowledges.

In 2021, reconciliation is more than just raising awareness and knowledge.

If you would like to join the conversation and be part of this landmark event, register before 2 July to take advantage of early-bird pricing.

Nominate someone amazing – Hedland 2021 NAIDOC Awards

Posted: June 9th, 2021

Hedland Aboriginal Strong Leaders are seeking nominations for the Port Hedland NAIDOC Awards.

These awards acknowledge and celebrate the amazing contributions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people making their mark in all areas of the community such as culture, the arts and sport.

As part of the seven exceptional awards, An ‘Elder of the Year’ award will be presented in recognition of the importance of our Elders, their leadership and the knowledge they share in our community.

If you know of anyone who deserves to be recognised you can make a nomination here. Nominations don’t have to be lengthy or complex, but they do have to be in by Sunday 27 June, as late nominations won’t be accepted.

The awards will be presented by the Hedland Aboriginal Strong Leaders at the NAIDOC Week Closing Ceremony at South Hedland Town Square on Saturday 10 July 2021.

For more information visit the Town of Port Hedland website.

Register to attend YMAC meetings on 10, 11 and 14 June about draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill

Posted: June 4th, 2021

Representatives from Prescribed Bodies Corporate and Traditional Owners from YMAC’s representative region are invited to attend meetings to discuss the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill.

YMAC believes there is great risk that should the draft bill circulated in 2020 be adopted, Aboriginal people will continue to take the backseat in critical decisions about important cultural sites. Consultation on the draft bill has been poor and YMAC is concerned Traditional Owners have limited or no understanding of the draft laws.

Agenda includes:

  • YMAC update on advocacy work undertaken on the bill to date,
  • Discuss outstanding concerns about the draft bill that may negatively impact Traditional Owners if the draft bill in the form distributed in 2020 goes through.
  • Discuss action to achieve equity for Traditional Owners in the new laws.

Note: The Pilbara meetings have been called for by concerned Pilbara Traditional Owners and will also include discussion on working together to better protect heritage in the region.

Meetings are being facilitated by YMAC on the following dates.

  • Thursday 10 June – Karratha: 9:30am to 2pm at the Red Earth Arts Precinct, 27 Welcome Road Karratha
  • Friday 11 June – Port Hedland: 9:30am to 2pm in the Ocean Room at the Hedland Hotel, Cnr Lukis and McGregor Street, Port Hedland
  • Monday 14 June – Carnarvon: 9:30am to 2pm, Wool Shed Hall, 21 Robinson Street, Carnarvon

To assist catering please RSVP to jmitchell@ymac.org.au or call YMAC on 1800 270 709 to find out more.

Pilbara Aboriginal Voice and Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards 2029 and Beyond – West Pilbara Tour

Posted: May 25th, 2021

YMAC is proud to have been a supporter of the recent Pilbara Aboriginal Voice (PAV) and Danjoo Koorliny West Pilbara Tour.

This important initiative involved the Danjoo Koorliny leadership team, in partnership with and hosted by PAV, travelling up from Perth to visit the West Pilbara region to be shown Country and to workshop ideas for how Western Australia Aboriginal people might move forward together.

The community workshops held as part of this trip provided an opportunity for people to learn more about the Danjoo Koorliny movement and to share their thoughts and aspirations for how people and organisations in the Pilbara can become more involved and what this might all mean for them. Speaking on the value of these sessions, PAV organiser, Sissy Ramirez, said “It is so important for us, as Aboriginal people, to listen to each other, to support each other, and to come together so we can be stronger together.”

Dr Noel Nannup, Danjoo Koorliny leader, added further, “Everyone has a piece of the pathway to the future. We each need to polish our own part and put it together to form a collective path to go forward together. We can’t speak for you. So come and speak for yourselves.”

YMAC very much looks forward to seeing what positive outcomes this partnership will foster into the future.

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PAV is a regional leadership group, nominated and endorsed by the community at the Annual On-Country Bush Meetings at Yule River. The group comprises a collective of representatives from many different language groups from across the region. The objective of PAV is to provide a strong, unified community voice that can influence policy reforms and advise relevant decision-makers on issues affecting Pilbara Aboriginal people. It is PAV’s intention to consult, collaborate, co-design and co-create effective, culturally appropriate solutions to the benefit of all Pilbara Aboriginal people.

For more information about PAV, please visit their website here.

Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards 2029 and Beyond is a bold, long-term, large-scale, Aboriginal-led systems change project to help all of us – be it in Western Australia, the rest of Australia, or around the world – walk together as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to co-create a better future for all. It is everyone contributing to the journey towards 2029, and beyond. A date that will mark 200 years since colonisation starting in Western Australia. It belongs to no organisation but hovers above all of us and aligns us so that we can care for everything. For generations upon generations.

For more information about Danjoo Koorliny, please visit their website here.