YMAC employee appointed to DWER advisory group

Posted: February 14th, 2023

Congratulations to YMAC Land and Sea Management Project Coordinator Marika Oakley, who has been appointed as a regional representative on the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER) Aboriginal Water and Environment Advisory Group.

Established in 2018, the group was designed to ensure First Nations knowledge, values and needs are considered and addressed across DWER strategies, programs and planning when managing WA’s environment and water resources.

The group comprises 14 First Nations members covering the Kimberley, Pilbara, Great Sandy Desert, Goldfields-Esperance, South West and Perth with Marika – based in YMAC’s Geraldton office – representing the Gascoyne-Mid West region.

Marika’s insight and knowledge, delivered from a First Nations perspective, will make a valuable contribution. She previously worked as a Malgana ranger for two years and has a certificate III in conservation and land management and certificate IV in bush and western herbal medicine. Marika was also the inaugural chair of Malgana Aboriginal Corporation (MAC), following a native title determination in 2018.

“I have always been interested in conservation and looking after Country and my people,” Marika said.

YMAC’s Land and Sea Management unit works on research and development for new ranger projects and Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs); Healthy Country Planning (strategic planning for cultural and natural heritage); advice on environmental matters; funding applications; and sustainable financing.

The unit also provides project management for ranger and IPA projects; advice and support for joint management, training and capacity-building for senior staff and rangers; advice on Indigenous Land Use Agreement negotiations that cover ranger; fee-for-service and governance structures; and support for groups in creating new jointly vested and managed reserves with the State Government.

The flagship Nyangumarta rangers program operates with support from YMAC’s Land and Sea Management unit, in collaboration with the Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation.

Marika Oakley, centre bottom row, during her time as a Malgana ranger.

Marika Oakley, centre bottom row, during her time as a Malgana ranger.