8th Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River
The 2023 Yule River Call to Action Statement has now been finalised and is available here. The Call-to-Action is an open invitation to local, State and Federal governments and industry to work together with First Nations peoples from across the Pilbara to achieve real and sustainable change.
It contains practical strategies and place-based solutions, identified by community members for:
The Call to Action demonstrates links to three important policy frameworks (create links from existing page):
Taking place on Kariyarra Country, the eighth annual Yule River meeting was held 12 and 13 July 2023. Over 500 people gathered over the two days, to discuss local empowerment and a fcall on the government to Close the Gap for Aboriginal people from across the region.
Kariyarra Elder, Alfred Barker delivered the Welcome to Country before Nyamal-Pitjakarli Elder and Deputy Co-Chair-Pilbara Regional Committee Mrs Doris Eaton opened the meeting.
Day 1 featured a presentation on the Voice to Parliament from Mr Thomas Mayo, member of the Federal Government’s Voice Referendum Working Group. When asked if they intend to vote ‘’yes’’ in the referendum, an overwhelming majority raised their hands. Aboriginal attendees discussed and endorsed a Call to Action that called for a more genuine, grassroots approach by government to working with community on placed-based solutions in six key areas of concern – systemic reform, education, health, housing, wellbeing, community safety.
On Day 2, community members presented the refined Call to Action to Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians the Hon Linda Burney MP, State Minister for Education and Aboriginal Affairs the Hon Dr Tony Buti MLA, Greens Senator Dorinda Cox, WA Commissioner for Children and Young People Ms Jacqueline McGowan-Jones, and the many local, state and federal government representatives in attendance. A last-minute special guest was Acting Prime Minister the Hon Richard Marles MP, who joined the meeting to speak with community members and discuss their concerns.
The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Ngarla-Nyamal leader Mr Danny Brown and Kariyarra leader Ms Raylene Button who are members of the Call-to-Action Working Group nominated at the April Yule River pre-event meeting. The other working group members who presented were Ashley Councillor, Linda Dridi, Mrs Eaton, Terry Jaffrey, Maureen “MK” Kelly, Henry Lockyer, Pat Mason, and Ethan Tittums.
A draft of the Call to Action was developed at a pre-event workshop in April involving Elders and Emerging Leaders from the Pilbara region. After the meeting, YMAC worked with the Call-to-Action Working Group, to finalise the Call-to-Action statement (link), incorporating additional actions identified by community at the Yule River meeting. The statement has been shared with government and community for consideration and action.
The event was also an opportunity for members of the community to connect so after 6pm on day 1, they enjoyed an evening meal and cultural performance together. The evening also featured the Henry & Ranahl band – a Country Rock/Pop band from WA. The event featured a range of stalls – the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Alliance, First Nations Clean Energy, ID Care/Cyber Resilience, Pilbara Regiment, YMAC, Department of Planning, Land and Housing and more.
Visit this page for information on the 2024 Annual On-Country Bush Meeting at Yule River as plans unfold.