Country, Culture, People, Future


Recognising World Ranger Day

Posted: July 31st, 2020

Australia has so many beautiful, natural assets and attractions. Within those is some of the oldest culture and heritage in the world. So who better to care for it than Aboriginal rangers?

We are really happy to have Stanley Dwayne Hill from Burringurrah Rangers, on Wajarri Country sharing with us why caring for Country and being a ranger is so special for him.

This is work that YMAC really values being part of.

Here’s to the rangers around the world – with 31 July being World Ranger Day – dedicated to the service they provide so that we may enjoy nature, culture and heritage.

You can watch Stanley’s message here:




2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round Now Open

Posted: July 24th, 2020


The 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round have reopened for NAIDOC Week, now being held from 8 to 15 November.

NAIDOC Week was postponed from the original July dates due to the uncertainty of the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to protect those vulnerable in our communities.

The grants aim to support local activities being held that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, achievements. Activities should align with the National NAIDOC Theme for 2020, ‘Always was, Always will be’.

Head to the NAIDOC website for more information.

Call for multi-billion environment stimulus package

Posted: July 13th, 2020

Nyangumarta rangers marking flatback turtle nests at the Ramsar site, Eighty Mile Beach WA.

A coalition of Conservation and Farmers’ lobby groups are calling for a multi-billion environment stimulus package to help create jobs in rural and regional areas found to be hardest hit by coronavirus. Indigenous Rangers and Land and Sea Management were identified as a key existing framework through which to increase effective stimulus into the regions.

A report prepared by Ernst and Young on behalf of more than 70 organisations found that a $4 billion national program spend would generate 53,000 jobs, reduce welfare costs by $630 million and raise economic output by $5.7 billion over the next four years – with economic gains rising to $9.3 billion over the next 20 years.

As the native title representative body for the Pilbara and Yamatji regions of Western Australia, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), fully supports this initiative that could potentially expand critical Indigenous Land and Sea Management programs across our representative regions. It would be highly beneficial for Traditional Owner groups and broader communities across the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions of WA.

Aboriginal Ranger programs YMAC are involved in, deliver vital environmental services and projects including tree planting, weed control, feral pest eradication, fire management, threatened species projects and capacity building.

Ernst and Young said particular benefits of the regional environmental stimulus is an opportunity to employ many workers with no previous experience and accommodate workers who have lost their jobs in other sectors.

Creating funding streams that are specifically for Indigenous land and sea management and Indigenous organisations, that deliver real jobs with proper operational funds over longer time frames, is a key element of ensuring Indigenous equity of access to stimulus.  It raises the prospect of ongoing – rather than ephemeral – employment benefits in the regions.

Specifically, increasing funding to known models like Indigenous Ranger jobs and Indigenous Protected Areas is more likely to deliver results that endure, and ensure practical benefits are realised at the local level in regional and remote areas.

The groups calling for the environment stimulus spending include Landcare, National Farmers Federation, NRM Regions Australia, Australian Land Conservation Alliance, Australian Conservation Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts.

YMAC COVID-19 update

Posted: July 13th, 2020

On Friday 10 July, Premier McGowan announced that further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in Western Australia will be delayed by two weeks. The decision to be extra cautious has been made due to the number of people in Perth quarantine hotels and the growing outbreak in Victoria.

Phase Five for WA – which would have seen the removal of the two-square-metre rule in venues – has now been pushed back to 1 August.

YMAC will continue to progress towards welcoming all staff back into our offices from Monday 20 July. However, in light of this announcement YMAC will continue to keep our offices closed to visitors until 1 August, which is in line with delay of moving to Phase 5.

Stay safe

Truth telling project scoops 2020 WA Heritage Awards

Posted: July 6th, 2020


“Don’t look at the islands”, Lock Hospitals memorial at Carnarvon. Photo Credit – Melissa Sweet

Congratulations to the volunteer team behind the Lock Hospital Project for their outstanding achievements at the 2020 WA Heritage Awards.

Overall the project was recognised for four coveted awards: Bob Dorey and Kathleen Musulin – who is a former YMAC Board of Director- have been named winners of the ‘Voluntary Individual Contribution’ category; The Lock Hospital Working Group has been named a joint winner in the ‘Community-based organisation’ and the ‘Interpretation Project’ categories; as well as the recipient of the prestigious Judges Award: The Professor David Dolan Award.  

The project played a key part in lobbying the WA Government to formally acknowledge the shocking history of WA’s Lock Hospitals off the coast of Carnarvon. Between 1908 and 1919, hundreds of Aboriginal patients were incarcerated in the Lock Hospitals on Bernier and Dorre islands, with more than 150 people dying there. 

Chair of the Heritage Council of WA, Hon John Cowdell AM commended the team for bringing an important piece of Australian history to the awareness of more people.

“Your commitment to the recognition of the once hidden stories of the Bernier and Dorre islands Lock Hospitals has brought the community and descendants together to share painful stories and acknowledge past truths. I commend you for your ongoing dedication to the project and those impacted by the horrific chapter in Western Australia’s history.”


Progress made to recognise the history of Aboriginal people on Rottnest Island

Posted: June 10th, 2020

YMAC welcomes the formation of a Whadjuk Noongar Cultural Authority to reconcile the history of Aboriginal people’s imprisonment at Rottnest Island. The group will lead the State-wide Aboriginal engagement on how best to commemorate the Aboriginal men and boys who are buried on the island, and the use of the old prison building at the historic Thomson Bay settlement known as the Quod.

The Wadjemup Project, named after the Noongar name for Rottnest Island, will be one of Australia’s first large-scale and genuine acts of recognition related to the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal people.

Rottnest Island was used as a place of incarceration, segregation and forced labour for Aboriginal men and boys from across Western Australia from 1838 to 1931. More than 4,000 Aboriginal people from all over WA – including a significant number from the Pilbara, Mid West and Gascoyne  – were forcibly taken there. Almost 400 men and boys, who died while imprisoned, were buried in unmarked graves on the Island.

The Whadjuk Noongar people are putting in place cultural authority protocols to lead engagement with other Noongar and Aboriginal people across WA.

To view the State Government’s media release click here.

National Sorry Day an important part of healing

Posted: May 26th, 2020

Today is National Sorry Day and on this day YMAC acknowledges and recognises members of the Stolen Generations for their collective strength in enduring inflicted grief, suffering and loss.

National Sorry Day is important to YMAC as an organisation because it acknowledges the history and resilience of the Stolen Generation people.

In the late 19th Century, 1950’s and 1960’s Aboriginal children were forcibly taken away from their families and brought up in institutions or fostered to non-Aboriginal families. This removal was an official government policy in Australia until 1969.

Federal Parliament tabled a motion on 26 May 1997 (from recommendations from the Bringing Them Home Report) that a National Sorry Day be celebrated each year.

National Sorry Day is part of the healing process for our communities. At YMAC we strongly support a return to physical, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being for all Aboriginal people – today and every day.

Recognition is a big part of the healing. YMAC encourages ALL Australians to take time to recognise our Stolen Generations today.

More information:



World Turtle Day – 23 May

Posted: May 23rd, 2020

On World Turtle Day®, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) acknowledges the Nyangumarta Ranger Program that monitors the endangered flatback turtle at the Ramsar site, Eighty Mile Beach.

There are 16 Aboriginal rangers who jointly manage the Marine Park Reserve with the Department of  Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Karajarri Traditional Owners. The work engages Aboriginal rangers on Country to participate in long-term data collection and monitoring of the species.

During the November to January turtle breeding season, six kms of the beach is monitored. The rangers mark the night nests, do a daily track count and egg count in January. This helps to determine if the turtles are being affected by humans and feral predators.

Threats to this species include direct harvest for meat and eggs, entanglement in fishing gear, destruction of nesting beaches from coastal development, pollution and destruction of feeding habitat (coral reefs and shallow nearshore areas). Dingoes and foxes once posed a significant threat to their nests but thanks to predator control programs, this threat has been greatly reduced.

The flatback turtle is named after its flat carapace, or shell, which is unlike the curved shell of other sea turtle species. In comparison to other sea turtles that lay 100-200 eggs per nest, this species lays an average of 50 per nest.

Special online film viewing – CONNECTION TO COUNTRY: The Pilbara

Posted: May 22nd, 2020


You are invited to a special online film event run by FILEF, which highlights the importance of Connection to Country in the Pilbara region.

CONNECTION TO COUNTRY: The Pilbara is about the fight of the Pilbara region Aboriginal people to protect their sacred sites.

The Burrup Peninsula (or Murujuga), in the Pilbara region, holds the largest concentration of rock art in the world, dating back over 50,000 years. It is an ancient landscape, so sacred that some parts shouldn’t be looked upon by anyone, except Traditional Owners.

In the film, Director Tyson Mowarin shows how he and the people of the Pilbara are fighting back to protect this sacred site. Traditional Owners are documenting the rock art, recording sacred sites and battling to get their unique cultural heritage recognised, recorded and celebrated.

The film will be accessible online, from 7pm on Thursday the 28th until 7pm on Saturday 30th of May 2020.

Please follow these directions to login:

  1. Click on the link below

  1. Click on login, top right hand corner
  2. Enter as a Guest Account:  FILEF
  3. Password: artfilms