Country, Culture, People, Future

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG)

FMG secondary school scholarships open for applications

Posted: August 4th, 2016

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Applications are now open for a scholarship scheme targeting partner Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara and children of families working for Fortescue Metals Group.

The scheme is offering a spot at both Guildford Grammar School and Perth College in Perth. Successful applicants will have their tuition, boarding (if applicable) and other incidentals paid for them as they attend their studies.

Kariyarra, Palyku, Nyiyaparli, Banjima, Eastern Guruma, Puutu Kunti Kurrama & Pinikura (PKKP), Njamal, and Yindijibarndi families are eligible to apply for the program. Submissions must be received no later than 1 September 2016.

Application forms and more information can be found on the Fortescue website here.

Pilbara Indigenous Business Announces Mining Services Joint Venture

Posted: April 16th, 2013

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Click to Enlarge
L-R: Rear – Tom Edmonson, Luke Mateljan, Sue Bung, Francis Bung. Sitting – Ray Bushnell, Bruce Bung.

YMAC congratulates Nyiyaparli Engineering Mine & Maintenance Services Pty Ltd (NEMMS) and Western Plant Hire (WA) Pty Ltd (WPH) who have just announced an incorporated Joint Venture to conduct Plant Hire and Mining Services in the Pilbara.

NEMMS is an Aboriginal owned and run company, established in 2010 by members of the Bung family, who are Traditional Owners of Nyiyaparli country in the Pilbara.

WPH offers a complete plant hire service and Crushing Services with clients including Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) and Rio Tinto, among others. WPH have been working closely with NEMMS for the past 12 months at Fortescue Cloudbreak mine, providing several large items of mining equipment.

The joint venture agreement gives 50/50 ownership to each company and will be managed by a Board with equal representation.

Sue Bung, NEMMS Director, said the partnership was a way for her family to participate in the local economy and get back to her traditional country. “We started NEMMS because we wanted to get up and do something for ourselves. Western Plant Hire and Fortescue have really given us a start, and I’m thankful for this opportunity. It lets us get back onto Nyiyaparli country, to our songlines and sites, to keep our law and culture going. I look forward to getting our younger generation involved”.

Ray Bushnell, Chief Executive Officer, WPH said, “We have been working with NEMMs for over a year and got to know the Bung Family very well. We saw that we had similar values, that we could create a good partnership. It made sense to take things to the next level and set up a joint venture. Since day one, NEMM’s commitment to the process has never faltered. They have been so driven, keen to learn, do more and get involved in the business operations from a day-to-day perspective”.

Isak Buitendag, Fortescue Director External Affairs said that this agreement represents the culmination of 18 months of hard work and dedication by the Bung family, Western Plant Hire and Fortescue. “It is wonderful to see NEMMS reaping the benefits of their effort to secure this joint venture with Western Plant Hire to service the resources industry. We look forward to seeing this joint venture create employment opportunities and develop an economic base for the benefit of NEMMS and their community”.

Sue Bergersen, Business and Workforce Development Manager for Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation, assisted NEMMS in the agreement negotiations. “This commercial arrangement is a very real and tangible example of the effort being undertaken by traditional owners in the Pilbara to change their futures. This partnership utilises current mining and market opportunities to build financial capacity, independence and employment pathways for family members”, she said. 

41,000 year-old Pilbara Aboriginal Site to be Protected

Posted: December 12th, 2012

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Photo Courtesy of Fortescue Metals Group
Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners from the Pilbara region of Western Australia, today announced the oldest occupation dates ever found in the region. Working with archaeologists from the heritage company Archae-aus, the Nyiyaparli Heritage Sub-Committee and Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation have revealed that charcoals found while excavating a rock shelter are more than 41,000 years old, according to carbon-dating analysis.
Nyiyaparli elder and Heritage Sub-Committee member David Stock said, “We feel proud that this evidence of our ancestors has been found and are happy it will be protected. This kind of work shows Australians that our heritage is very important and that it can be protected”.
Nyiyaparli elder and Heritage Sub-Committee member Gordon Yuline said “We have to keep the caves to show the young people how the old people used to live. It is very important we protect these places and we are able to go there and teach the young ones.”
The shelter site would be protected by a buffer zone and that Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners have requested further research be carried out at the important site.

Click here to read the full media release.

YMAC Co-Chair speaks in the national media about the future of Njamal country

Posted: August 27th, 2012

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The Njamal people of the Pilbara region of WA welcomed a visit by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya on their country last week. Professor Anaya visited the site of a joint venture between the Njamal people and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), the North Star Project.


The Njamal People and FMG entered into an agreement in December 2011 that will protect significant cultural sites and lead to the creation of a joint venture to run a mining operation on an orebody adjacent to FMG’s proposed North Star mine.

During the visit, YMAC Co-Chair and Njamal elder Mrs. Doris Eaton spoke to Fairfax media about the joint venture and what it means for Njamal people and country.
Read the full story in the Sydney Morning Herald here.

Professor Anaya had the opportunity to meet with the Njamal people and representatives of FMG to learn more about this unique land access agreement. He also visited significant Njamal heritage sites, including rock art complexes, and spoke with the Njamal people about the effect that mining has had on their community.


“I’m grateful to the Njamal people for the opportunity to meet with them on their country, along with representatives of FMG, and learn about a unique and potentially beneficial arrangement with the mining industry”, Professor Anaya said.

Mrs Eaton said “This trip was a good opportunity to show Professor Anaya and the wider community what the Njamal People have achieved through our agreement with FMG. It is important that people see the beauty of our country first hand so that we can all work together to protect our culture, heritage and stories

Country is our mother, the provider and keeper of cultural belongings. Country and Culture go together. You can’t have one without the other.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians throughout Western Australia, and on whose Country we work. We acknowledge and respect their deep connection to their lands and waterways.

We honour and pay respect to Elders, and to their ancestors who survived and cared for Country.

Our offices are located on Whadjuk Country, Southern Yamatji Country, Yinggarda Country, Kariyarra Country, and Yawuru Country. We recognise the continuing culture, traditions, stories and living cultures on these lands and commit to building a brighter future together.

Disclaimer: Caution: Please be advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased people.

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