Country, Culture, People, Future

Yamatji 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, where he now also serves as a councillor for the Shire of Upper Gascoyne.

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 2022 Annual Regional Meeting (ARM). He is also on the Board of the National Native Title Council.

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.

Revel Oakley Snr

Revel was elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee in November 2021. Check back soon for a full profile.

Ben Roberts

Ben is a Thudgari man who lives in Carnarvon. He was instrumental in assisting his community in the work towards their Native Title recognised in 2009. He is involved in the Thudgari People’s Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC), Wyamba, as well as a Board Member at the Woodgoomungooh Aboriginal Corporation.

Ben enjoys fishing, camping and visiting Country with his children and grandchildren.

Ben has served on the Yamatji Regional Committee and the YMAC Board of Directors. He was re-elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee in March 2021.

Paul Baron

Paul is a Baiyungu man and a member of the Nganhurra Thanardi Garrbu Aboriginal Corporation. He is the general manager of the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation, which is involved in development and land holdings in the Coral Bay area, including the Cardabia pastoral lease.

Paul is a member of the Gnulli native title claim, which achieved recognition in December 2019.  He lives in Carnarvon and is a keen fisherman, but also enjoys hunting and camping in his spare time. Being on the YMAC Regional Committee is important to him because he believes that full recognition of traditional ownership provides Aboriginal people a base for building strong communities and enterprises.

Barry Dodd

Barry Dodd is a Yamatji, Amangu and Nhanagardi man, with ancestry going back to Hill River and Yalgoo. Born in the Mingenew Spring in 1948, he was in Tardun Mission and attended school in Mullewa, Carnarvon, and Geraldton, where he now lives. Barry’s strength, concerns and culture was given to him through many extended families, and his respect for Country and culture. He honours all people’s culture. An active community member, Barry joined YMAC’s Yamatji Regional Committee in November 2021.  This is the second time he has served on the Committee.

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 at the Aboriginal Family Legal Service as a Community Engagement Worker, helping with legal advice in the community and redress. Sharna also assists to help families who are experiencing domestic violence and in need of support with other issues in their lives. Sharna was re-elected onto the YMAC Board and Yamatji Regional Committee in November 2023.

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.

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.

Tracey Tonga (Edney)

Tracey is a proud Yinggarda, Wadjarri and Banjima woman who has a passion for native title issues within our Aboriginal communities and the Yamatji region. She currently lives and works in Carnarvon and was re-elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee in March 2021.

Gail Bellotti

Gail Bellotti is a Malgana/Naaguja/Yindjibarndi woman of the Gascoyne/Murchison/Pilbara region of Western Australia elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee in March 2021.

Gail has extensive experience and knowledge relating to issues affecting Aboriginal people in the domains of Health, Justice, Education, Employment, Training, Social issues, Cyber safety, Social Media, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief, Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, Children, Arts & Culture, Suicide Prevention, and Community Development.

Wayne Evans

Wayne is a proud Nanda Aboriginal man who resides in Carnarvon, and was elected to the Yamatji Regional Committee in March 2021. He joined the Committee as he wants to help out and be a better person for his community.

Wayne has a Cert III in Horticulture and enjoys gardening and growing gubinge and native fruits, as well as restoring cars.

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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