Country, Culture, People, Future

Simon Hawkins

Native title agreement recognises the importance of water

Posted: November 20th, 2012

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Kurama and Marthudunera Traditional Owners Bernadette Evans, Roy Evans, Joan Evans and Cyril Lockyer with YMAC staff and IOH representatives

The Kurama and Marthudunera (K&M) native title group today announced the signing of an agreement with Iron Ore Holdings Ltd (IOH) over their Buckland Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

It is the Pilbara’s first native title agreement to provide payments in respect of the use of water and clearance of native vegetation, giving an incentive for IOH to minimise their impact on the environment. IOH also showed flexibility in planning their mine footprint in order to avoid any impact on culturally sensitive sites near the area.

In addition to strong cultural and environmental protection, the agreement provides milestone and production payments, which are now standard features of native title land access agreements.

Kurama and Marthudunera Traditional Owner, Cyril Lockyer said, “The important thing now is to continue our good working relationship. This area is of great significance to the families involved and we want to work closely with Iron Ore Holdings to see these sensitive places protected.”

“This unique agreement is due to the genuine good-will and flexibility shown by both parties, and recognises the cultural and environmental significance of the area for the Traditional Owners. It goes well beyond the requirements of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act by recognising that water and habitat are inextricably linked to cultural values,” said Simon Hawkins, CEO of Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation.

2012 Annual Report now available for download

Posted: October 31st, 2012

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YMAC is proud to release our Annual Report for the 2011/12 financial year. In addition to our complete financial statements, the report also contains many highlights from the year, a message from the CEO, a report from the Board of Directors and many beautiful pictures of country.

Click here to download our Annual Report from our website or email srosenfeld@ymac.org.au to request a hard copy.

YMAC speaks out on proposed reforms

Posted: May 1st, 2012

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The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has today released a discussion paper on proposed changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972.

There has been no formal consultation on the proposed changes so far, including with Aboriginal people. Now there are just five weeks for the general public to comment on the proposals.

It is YMAC’s view that the proposals focus too much on the approval process for industry and not enough on improving processes for the effective conservation and protection of Aboriginal heritage sites.



Simon Hawkins, YMAC CEO said today, “Aboriginal people are not just another set of stakeholders. This is their heritage and they deserve an opportunity to provide meaningful input into the reform process. I am sceptical about the current process and of course the short timeframe will not allow for those negatively affected to have their say.”

“For Traditional Owners, the current Act is more a licence to destroy heritage than a mechanism to protect it. These proposals will only reinforce this view.”

Click here to download YMAC’s full media release.

Click here for the Department of Indigenous Affairs Discussion Paper

Agreement focuses on sustainability

Posted: April 24th, 2012

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Ngarlawangga community members, YMAC staff and Rico Resources representatives at the agreement signing



The Ngarlawangga people have announced an agreement with Rico Resources over their Wonmunna project within the Ngarlawangga native title claim.

The agreement focuses on building a relationship between the parties to develop sustainable, long-term business and employment opportunities for the Ngarlawangga community. It is based on shared objectives of employment and contracts for Ngarlawangga people on Rico Resources projects.  

To this end, a skills audit of the Ngarlawangga community is being undertaken to help community members identify and access opportunities for training, employment, and business ventures.

The agreement includes financial compensation to the Ngarlawangga people, and recognises the importance of Aboriginal culture and the Ngarlawangga people’s responsibility to care for their heritage sites. It also provides Rico Resources with all of the native title approvals needed for their Wonmunna Project.

“Rico resources have listened to us and we have listened to them. We have a good relationship with RICO even though we are a small group and they are a small company,” said Ngarlawangga elder Maisey Hyland.

Ngarlawangga elder Dianne Limerick said, “In the short while we have been negotiating with Rico Resources we made a lot of progress and we are happy and pleased that we have signed an agreement together”

Simon Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), said, “Rico Resources has adopted a relationship-based approach to these negotiations, and this agreement is designed to help the Ngarlawangga people meet their aspirations as a community. The company has shown their commitment to these goals by implementing the skills audit before the agreement was even signed. This mining agreement is about both parties supporting each other for years to come.”

2010/11 YMAC Annual Report now available

Posted: October 25th, 2011

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YMAC is proud to release our Annual Report for the 2010-11 financial year. In addition to our complete financial statements, the report also contains many highlights from the year, a message from the CEO, a report from the Board of Directors and many beautiful pictures of country.

Click here to download our Annual Report from our website or email srosenfeld@ymac.org.au to request a hard copy.

YMAC CEO in WA Business News

Posted: July 19th, 2011

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This week, YMAC CEO Simon Hawkins, features on page 21 of WA Business News.

The article entitled ‘Travel Talk’ features Simon’s chosen travel destinations and covers some of his favourite places, including Karijini National Park, Weld Range, Coral Bay and 80 Mile Beach.

Click here for a pdf of the article

YMAC makes national and international news headlines!

Posted: June 6th, 2011

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Gordon Yuline, Nyiyaparli elder, signs agreement

YMAC, and Pilbara traditional owners, have received unprecedented media coverage in state, national and international media regarding the recent signing of historical agreements with Rio Tinto.

The news hit the headlines on Friday, 3 June, continued over the weekend and into the week of 6 June. The story, and YMAC’s CEO, Simon Hawkins, featured in the following major media outlets;

Television: BBC International News, ABC 7pm news, ABC 24 6pm news, GWN and WIN 6pm news

Newspapers: Front page of the West Australia and Australian newspapers, also featured in Australian Financial Review, The Age, Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, plus 12 other national regional papers. Will also appear in WA regional and Indigenous newspapers the week of 6 June.

Radio: BBC radio, ABC national and regional radio, SBS radio, Sky Business, 6PR, 96FM, 94.5FM, and national radio across Australia.

Keep and eye out for more great news stories coming up for YMAC, and the traditional owners we represent, in 2011!

YMAC CEO in Saturday’s West Australian

Posted: April 18th, 2011

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Last weekend’s West Australian newspaper featured a letter to the editor from YMAC’s CEO Simon Hawkins. The letter was in response to recent media attention on native title agreements, and points out that there are many positive outcomes when resource companies genuinely engage with native title groups.
Click here to read the full letter, titled “Benefits to native title groups”.