Country, Culture, People, Future

native title

Native Title Stories: Diane Stewart

Posted: August 31st, 2012

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YMAC would like to welcome Diane Stewart as the latest member of our Board of Directors. Ms Stewart is a Nyangumarta woman from the East Pilbara who loves spending time on country. Watch her video below to hear her stories about country, family and culture.

Diane Stewart, YMAC Director.

This is the third in a series of interviews with our Committee and Board Members, in which they share their stories of country and culture. See previous interviews with Yamatji Directors Ben Roberts and Susan Oakley.

Native Title Stories: Susan Oakley

Posted: August 7th, 2012

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Watch Yamatji Committee member Susan Oakley share her experiences and reflections on native title in Australia.

This is the second in a series of interviews with our Committee and Board Members, in which they share their stories of country and culture. To see the previous interview with Yamatji Committee member Ben Roberts, click here.

Support for changes to native title

Posted: June 6th, 2012

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Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, of a package of reforms and additional funding to improve the efficiency of the native title system.

In particular, YMAC is pleased that the Government has committed to put forward amendments to incorporate criteria for good faith negotiations into the Native Title Act. This is in line with suggested amendments YMAC put to the Government in 2009, following FMG Pilbara Pty Ltd v Cox (2009).


Simon Hawkins, CEO, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation said, “The High Court’s decision resulted in our push for these ‘good faith’ amendments, to set out clear expectations and certainty for all parties.

Importantly, these changes will require companies to discuss substantive issues within the six-month negotiation period, rather than stalling on preliminary matters such as protocols and timetables. These reforms have been under discussion for several years and we are very pleased to see the Government now moving towards design and implementation.”

The announcements at the National Native Title Conference in Townsville also included:

·      Proposed amendments to allow parties to reach agreement over the historical extinguishment of native title over parks and reserves.

·     The Government has agreed that financial payments to native title parties as part of agreements won’t attract income tax or Capital Gains Tax. This will guarantee that compensation paid for the impairment or loss of native title rights will be treated like other forms of compensation.

Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs also addressed the conference, announcing a long-awaited review of the roles and functions of Native Title Representative Bodies. YMAC hopes this review demonstrates the extensive work Native Title Representative Bodies are doing to support native title groups as they move into a post-determination environment.

2010 Native Title and Social Justice Report

Posted: February 16th, 2011

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This week, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) launched the 2010 Native Title and Social Justice Report.
YMAC provided a comprehensive submission to the AHRC which has been quoted and referred to in each chapter of the report.
YMAC’s views are represented on a range of issues, including:
  • the need to clarify the meaning of good faith in the Native Title Act;
  • the need to improve processes for meaningful consultation with Traditional Owners about reforms to the system; and
  • the need for Governments to implement the Guidelines for Best Practice in Agreement-Making, endorsed by Native Title Ministers in 2009.
To see the full report visit: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/nt_report/ntreport10/index.html

Thudgari People celebrate recognition of country

Posted: November 19th, 2009

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Ronnie Dodd, Charlie Lapthorne, Stewart Peck, Bella Randall and Peter Salmon at the Thudgari native title determination.

 Exactly 12 years to the day their native title claim was first lodged, the Thudgari People celebrated the legal recognition of their culture and country.

Thudgari country lies between the Ashburton and Gascoyne rivers and is mainly covered by pastoral leases and the Barlee Range nature reserve. Settlement in the area occurred in the late 19th century by pastoralists. Aboriginal people working on stations such as Glen Florrie, Maroonah, Mangaroon, Willambury and Ullawarra were a vital part of the survival of these remote outstations.

The on-country Federal Court hearing, at Ullawarra Station, recognised the Thudgari People’s native title rights to their country, which stem from their traditional laws and customs. The determination formalises these rights and interests, including the right to access the land, and to hunt, gather, camp and protect significant sites.

Traditional Owner Doris Parker said, “I was born on Thudgari country at an outstation on Maroonah Station, my father was born on Ullawarra. As a child I was sent to Carnarvon mission and only had contact with my parents once a year. It was very hard for us Aboriginal children who weren’t allowed to speak our traditional language or be on country to learn from our elders. Today means that I can go out on my country and camp and hunt with my family. I can show our future generations this land and how it connects to who they are.”

YMAC has been proud to represent the Thudgari People and we extend our sinceret congratulations to the community.