NAIDOC Week 2022 Feature: Yamatji on Country

Posted: July 6th, 2022

Today, YMAC acknowledges and pays tribute to those strong leaders in our Yamatji region who Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for improved conditions and opportunities for themselves and their communities, as well as future generations to come.

The second Yamatji on Country is set to take place 3 and 4 August 2022. These events are organised at the request of YMAC’s Yamatji Regional Committee and are intended to provide a forum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across the region to come together to build relationships, discuss issues important to them, identify solutions to address concerns, and celebrate achievements to-date. They are also an occasion for government and other stakeholders to attend, engage, and collaborate on how to best make positive changes.

Those involved in the inaugural Yamatji on Country were resolved in their position to oppose and reject the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2021 on the basis that it contradicted and undermined the self-determination rights and privileges of Traditional Owners, and restricted their voice, dismissed their cultural authority and denied any delegation in decision-making processes that involve protecting and preserving land, culture, language, heritage and interests. This united front helped to inform and fortify YMAC’s broader advocacy work on this matter and demonstrated to the State Government the strength and resilience of the community to stand up for what they believe is right and fair.

Continuing in this vein, the 2022 gathering will see our Yamatji community leaders once again leading important conversations and standing up to voice their positions when they meet with other decision-makers and influencers. To this end, we commend them for their commitment to ensuring real and meaningful change is realised to the benefit of not only them and their communities now, but for generations to come, across the entire region.

For more information about this year’s Yamatji on Country, click here.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may contain images of deceased people.