Country, Culture, People, Future

South Hedland

National Close the Gap Day, 22 March 2012

Posted: March 19th, 2012

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National Close the Gap Day is a day for all Australians to join together and remind our political leaders that despite their commitments to close the life expectancey gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, there is a lot of work left to be done.

The National Close the Gap Day focus for 2012 is on the need for genuine, meaningful partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health peoples at all stages of health planning and delivery.

There are events on all around the country this week, including these free public events:

Live healthy Live longer Closing the Gap

  • When : Thu, 22 Mar 2012 09:30 to 11:00
  • Where : 2-34 Colebatch Way, SOUTH HEDLAND, WA

Closing the Gap 2012: Have A Go Day

  • When : Thu, 22 Mar 2012 10:00 to 03:00
  • Where : Egan Street, CARNARVON, WA

For more information on these and other Close the Gap Day events visit:

http://webfw.oxfam.org.au/act/events/close-the-gap-day/attend?g=1&f=wa

2011 Annual Regional Meetings

Posted: December 9th, 2011

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Yamatji Committee Deputy Chair Roy Belotti and Chair Peter Windie
The 2011 Annual Regional Meetings (ARMs) were held in Meekatharra on November 19 and South Hedland on November 26. All YMAC members were invited to attend to vote on a number of resolutions and to raise any questions about YMAC’s operations.
Unfortunately, a loss in the Meekatharra community meant that it was not possible for many members to attend the meeting on 19 November.
YMAC staff, Regional Committee members, and the members present at the meeting offered their sincere condolences to the family of the man who had recently passed away.
There were seven vacant positions on the Yamatji Regional Committee, and the following people were elected:
Gloria Fogarty
Victor Mourambine
Ron Simpson
Pam Mongoo
Paul Baron
Kathleen Musulin
Deceased Person
At a special Yamatji Regional Committee Meeting held immediately after the ARM, Paul Baron was re-elected to the vacant position on the Board of Directors.
Peter Windie and Roy Bellotti were re-elected unopposed as Chair and Deputy Chair respectively.
Sadly, since his election, one of the Yamatji Regional Committee members has passed away. The YMAC staff, Board and Committee members offer condolences and sympathy to the family of the deceased.

The Pilbara ARM was well attended and accepted the Nyangumarta people’s decision to appoint Dianne Stewart as their representative on the Regional Committee, replacing David Wright. The Committee thanked Mr. Wright for his long service.

NAIDOC profile: Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre

Posted: July 4th, 2011

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Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre is a language centre in South Hedland dedicated to preserving and teaching Indigenous languages of the Pilbara region. It began in 1987 when a group of Aboriginal people started recording languages that they feared were in danger of being forgotten. From its modest beginnings it has grown into a vibrant organisation with a wide range of projects and an impressive workload.

Wangka Maya’s work is driven by the urgency to record languages with few speakers before they are lost forever. “Wangka Maya’s work is very important … recording and documenting 31 languages, some with only a handful of speakers left. We have to have it on record, or else the language will be totally lost. If there are no more speakers left, how will the younger generations know how it sounds?” said Harry Taylor, current treasurer of Wangka Maya.

This sense of urgency has led Wangka Maya to prioritise languages with the fewest remaining speakers, producing wordlists and dictionaries, followed by sketch grammars which describe the use and structure of the language, and over the years, more books and resources for children.

Beyond language, Wangka Maya also records information and produces resources in the areas of history and culture, provides cultural awareness training and participates in a range of community partnerships and initiatives to promote understanding of and interest in Aboriginal language, culture and history. Wangka Maya also reconnects Pilbara and Gascoyne Aboriginal people to their families who have lost contact due to government action or other issues through the Link Up program.

Anne Sibosado, long time board member of Wangka Maya, feels a personal connection with the work of the language centre. “Growing up I wasn’t allowed to speak language in school, but it’s important to your identity. Being involved [with Wangka Maya] has helped me get my identity back… I hope the younger people will come to use [Wangka Maya’s resources], because they are our future. We want more young people to come aboard,” said Anne.

Harry Taylor believes that, “the wider Australian community is recognising language diversity more and accepting it more,” and Australia is a richer place for that.

Wangka Maya is offering a free cultural awareness training course on 7 July for NAIDOC week. For more information please visit www.wangkamaya.org.au or call 9172 2344.

Across Australia every July, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In honour of NAIDOC 2011 YMAC is featuring a series of Aboriginal people and organisations that contribute to the vibrant Aboriginal culture of the Midwest and Pilbara. For more information on NAIDOC including its history and events happening near you, visit http://www.naidoc.org.au/ .

Pilbara Indigenous Health Services Win Commonwealth Support

Posted: February 1st, 2011

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Three Aboriginal Health Centres in the Pilbara have been successful in securing grants from the federal government, the Minister for Indigenous Health announced yesterday.

The goal of the funding is to help Aboriginal Health Organisations achieve accreditation under Australian quality standards.

For the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation in Jigalong and the Pilbara Indigenous Women’s Aboriginal Corporation and Bloodwood Tree, both located in South Hedland, this means funding for things like training, office equipment, medical equipment and the accreditation fees.

YMAC congratulates these three Pilbara Aboriginal health organisations on their successful grant applications and on their ongoing work to improve the health and quality of life for the Pilbara Aboriginal community.