Country, Culture, People, Future

Board of Directors

Natalie Parker

Co-Chairperson, Pilbara Region – Board of Directors, Chairperson – Pilbara Regional Committee

Natalie is a Nyiyaparli woman from the central Pilbara region who is well known in the community for her leadership capacity.

Natalie represents her community on the board of the Gumula Aboriginal Corporation, Gumula Enterprises Pty Ltd, Meta Maya Aboriginal Corporation as well as being the representative for Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) as a Director of Pilbara Solar Pty Ltd.

Natalie enjoys camping on country and spending quality time with her grandchildren. Her aspirations for the future include improvements in health, education and economic opportunities for Aboriginal people. She also would like to see the recognition of culture and a strong future for all.

Natalie is the YMAC Co-Chairperson – Pilbara Regional Committee.

Peter Windie

Co-Chairperson, Yamatji Region – Board of Directors, Chairperson – Yamatji Regional Committee

Peter is a Thudgari man who played an integral leadership role in his peoples’ Native Title Determination in 2009. He was also an applicant on the combined Thiin-Mah Warriyangka Tharrkari Jiwarli native title claim, determined in 2019. Peter lives in Gascoyne Junction in Western Australia and is a well-respected community leader in the region.

In early 2020, he was appointed Director of Pilbara Solar, a renewable energy company that develops commercial renewable energy projects aiming to create equity ownership for Traditional Owners. He is passionate about Country and the depth Aboriginal people are spiritually connected to the land. Peter was re-elected as Yamatji Chairperson and YMAC Director at the 2021 Annual Regional Meeting (ARM).

Mrs Doris Eaton - Njamal and Pitjikarli

Doris Eaton

Deputy Co-Chairperson, Pilbara Region – Board of Directors, Deputy Chairperson – Pilbara Regional Committee

Mrs Eaton is a Njamal and Pitjikarli Elder from the eastern Pilbara region. Her focus is on ensuring younger generations learn strong culture and law from their Elders. In 2009 she was named NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year and, in 2021, she was shortlisted in the Aboriginal category of the Western Australian of the Year Awards. Mrs Eaton completed studies at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education in Darwin and has continuously been involved in the development of health programs for Aboriginal women and children, as well as initiatives around care for the elderly. Mrs Eaton was re-elected as Deputy Co-Chairperson – Pilbara Region on the YMAC Board of Directors in June 2021.

Deborah Oakley

Deputy Co-Chairperson, Yamatji Region – Board of Directors, Deputy Chairperson – Yamatji Regional Committee

Deborah is a Malgana woman who enjoys contributing her cultural knowledge and skills towards her work for the Yamatji Regional Committee and Board of Directors. She attends community meetings when possible because Country is very precious to Deborah’s heart. For her, Country goes way back to her ancestors and Deborah believes it is now up to the current and younger generations to respect what is here.

Also very active, Deborah enjoys singing and dancing, as well as playing basketball, football, softball, darts, going fishing and swimming. She also works with the River of Life Night Patrol in Carnarvon, supporting young people. In March 2021, Deborah was re-elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee and as Deputy Co-Chairperson – Yamatji Region on the YMAC Board of Directors.

Richard Oakley

Richard is a Malgana man from Carnarvon, actively involved in his community with experience working on a variety of boards and committees for community organisations. He has been involved in native title for a long period of time. Access to Country, to be able to pass on lore and culture, is extremely important to him. Richard would like to see recognition for all Aboriginal people and believes it is important for them to unite and work together to protect their culture and Country. In March 2021, Richard was re-elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee and as a Director on the YMAC Board.

Cicily Dowden

Cicily is a Wajarri woman and resident of Carnarvon. She has previously worked as a transport officer for the Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation and is a dedicated mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Cicily is pleased to be a member of the YMAC Yamatji Regional Committee and Board of Directors so she can work towards her vision for the future.

Her aims for the future include passing on knowledge to Aboriginal children so they know their culture, language and heritage. She looks forward to seeing her grandchildren learning languages from both sides of her family. In her spare time, Cicily loves gardening and learning about Wajarri Country. In March 2021, Cicily was re-elected as a Director on the Yamatji Regional Committee and YMAC Board of Directors.

Sharna Oakley

Sharna is a Malgana woman who grew up in Carnarvon. She is pleased to serve as a Yamatji Regional Committee member and YMAC Board Director because it gives her the opportunity to learn more about YMAC’s operations, contribute to its strategic direction and provide input on native title issues that matter. Sharna hopes to see Aboriginal people fighting for their land have access given back to them, so Elders can teach the younger generation about its background. In addition to her YMAC work, she works on the night patrol and for Ngala as a family mentor supporting parents of children up to 18 years old. Sharna was re-elected onto the YMAC Board and Yamatji Regional Committee in November 2021.

Albert Winder

Albert is a Malgana man who grew up in Carnarvon and then moved away for about 30 years to live and work in Perth. He moved back to Carnarvon in 2014 and became a Yamatji Regional Committee member to get involved in Aboriginal matters affecting the community. Albert was re-elected as a Director on the YMAC Board and onto the Yamatji Regional Committee in March 2021.

Ivan Smirke

Ivan Smirke is a member of the Jurruru Working Group, and was elected to the Pilbara Regional Committee in August 2014. Check back soon for a full profile.

Raylene Button

Raylene is a Kariyarra-Yindibarndi-Palyku woman from the Mampulunya-Kularnunya-Tjinapi-Jarlingarli-Julimanga clan and Purungu/Karimarra skin group. Born in Port Hedland, she is deeply passionate about creating a positive future for her people. Raylene is the founder and director of Mampulunya Kariyarra, a business providing cultural awareness training, on-Country tours, cultural advice and consulting services. She is university educated and known for her abilities in comprehending the complex negotiations and discussion that occurs in the native title process.

Raylene is proud of her role in founding the Hedland Aboriginal Strong Leaders (HASL)/Julyardi Aboriginal Corporation that has 27 Elders across 14 Pilbara/desert language groups – they teach leaderships skills, culture/heritage knowledge and land management negotiation skills, encouraging children to pursue their dreams. She is highly respected for many other major contributions she has made to her local community and is continuously working with governments at a state, local and federal level. Raylene was elected to the Pilbara Regional Committee in November 2021 and Board of Directors in February 2022.

Selina Stewart

Selina is a Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) Traditional Owner and devoted mother and grandmother. She grew up in Carnarvon and Port Hedland and currently lives in South Hedland, working at a local high school. Selina spent several years working towards gaining native title recognition for her community and has fond memories of learning about her Country from her father and grandmother.

Selina’s drive to serve her community is inspired by her father, who was also actively involved in native title, and made sure his daughters could continue in his footsteps. Selina was elected to the Pilbara Regional Committee and Board of Directors in June 2021.

Diane Stewart

Diane is a Nyangumarta woman actively involved in the Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation after being inspired by her Elders who worked hard towards their 2009 Nyangumarta determination. Diane was born in Port Hedland and still lives there today. Diane is proud her family continues to have such a strong connection to Country. Diane feels a great sense of belonging on Country with her family, learning hunting and gathering. Diane is an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer, working with students, parents and the community for better Indigenous student outcomes. Diane’s current Pilbara Regional Committee term began in June 2021 – Diane was re-elected to YMAC’s Board of Directors at the same time. Diane has previously been on the Board of Directors, first elected in August 2012.