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MURUJUGA MEMBER NEWSLETTER Scroll down for AUGUST 2021

"NGAYINTHARRI GUMAWARNI NGURRANGGA"

WE ALL COME TOGETHER FOR COUNTRY

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) brings together and represents our lands five custodial Ngarda Ngarli; Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Yaburara, Mardudhunera, and Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo. Our strategy is to work closely as the traditional Ngarda Ngarli to maintain cohesion and to ensure our programs and outcomes reflect the needs of our community. MAC's mission is to preserve and protect our land, heritage and culture while transforming the lives of our community.

Dear MAC Members,

While working with various organisations and groups in the area during NAIDOC Week, the theme ‘Healing Country’ sparked a deep reflection on how we as a corporation are seeking greater protection for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction.

I’m proud to say Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation is leading the way in doing exactly this – healing our country. From our efforts to gain World Heritage status for Murujuga, assisting with the addition of local native plants added to the WA Herbarium, and by hosting rock art tours, we’ve not only been creating awareness but driving action.

It’s truly an exciting time to be part of Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

Our efforts to attain World Heritage status have taken us on country to many different meeting points and for a range of special events, to meet and yarn with our community and members, and gain their input and historic stories that will help strengthen our heritage nomination.

To everyone contributing, and making a concerted effort to help MAC achieve in one way or another – thank you. Together we are making a real difference and its being noticed by many. Keep up the great effort all round.

Ngayintharri gumawarni ngurrangga.

Regards,

Peter Jeffries

Spreading the NAIDOC Week message

During this year’s NAIDOC Week, held between 4-11 July, we were welcomed by Woodside Energy at their annual flag raising ceremony and to the Yara Pilbara NAIDOC week breakfast, to deliver an Acknowledgement of Country.

This year’s theme is “Heal Country” calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect and maintain Aboriginal culture and heritage.

Being a part of our communities' NAIDOC Week celebrations provides us the opportunity to share our stories and continue developing relationships and awareness about the importance of our culture and heritage.

Woodside NAIDOC Week Acknowledgement of Country
Yara Pilbara NAIDOC Week celebrations

Partnership leads to a world-leading approach

Announced by the Minister for Environment, Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson MLA, a new contract to continue the Murujuga Rock Art Monitoring Program will also assist MAC in progressing its application for UNESCO World Heritage List status for Murujuga National Park.

The world-leading scientifically rigorous approach will be delivered by Calibre Ventures Pty Ltd, with technical experts from Curtin University, Art Care and ChemCentre, to monitor, analyse and manage the rock art. The program will be overseen by Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in partnership with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

A key objective of the program is to learn if human activities are causing a decline in the condition of the rock art.

Conceptual models have been developed that outline the current understanding of the Murujuga Rock Art system, to inform monitoring studies of the rock art and assist the development of Environmental Quality Management Frameworks. Read our brochure here.

For more detailed information, read our Murujuga Rock Art Strategy here.

Thank you to the State Government and the funding partners, Woodside, Rio Tinto and Yara Pilbara, for supporting this project.

For more information about Calibre’s official appointment visit here.

Combatting graffiti at Murujuga National Park

Unfortunately, graffiti is becoming an increasing issue at Murujuga National Park. This is deeply concerning for everyone at Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation to see this happening on country, especially as it shows a lack of respect and understanding of the remaining Murujuga Rock Art.

Graffiti at Ngajarli trail boardwalk
Rock Art Graffiti Ngajarli trail boardwalk

In an effort to combat graffiti, Pilbara Ports Authority Heritage Specialist Robert Brock has been delivering training to our MAC Rangers to help identify, record and manage graffiti.

The training includes safe techniques to remove different types of graffiti, as well as how to mask scratchings, ensuring it blends in with the natural rock surface using oxide pigments.

Working with the Pilbara Ports Authority was an excellent opportunity for MAC rangers to collaborate, knowledge-share and upskill.

The Graffiti Management Training ensures we can keep Murujuga National Park and our culturally significant artworks protected from vandalism.

We have increased monitoring in the area, however please assist MAC Rangers by reporting suspicious behaviour immediately to Patrick Churnside by email or by calling 9144 4112.

Top: MAC Rangers with Pilbara Ports Authority Heritage Specialist Robert Brock. Left: Ranger Corey removing graffiti. Right: Ranger Sarah removing graffiti.

Increasing baby crayfish numbers

MAC’s Land & Sea Unit has been working with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) to collect baby crayfish, known as Puerulus for research purposes.

Together, MAC and the DPIRD are discovering the best environmental conditions to increase baby crayfish numbers. This includes water conditions and locations.

Thanks to our MAC Ranger, Dale, who has great diving skills, we safely caught our first baby crayfish – and its mother by the look and size of it – who was carefully released back into the ocean.

Some of the rangers also got to practice their skipper skills and drive Topaz, our special custom-made sea boat – a great day out on sea country with the team!

MAC Rangers collecting baby crayfish for research purposes before carefully releasing them back into the ocean.

2021 Rock Art Field School

It’s a special feeling when we get all of our knowledge holders out on country together, and that was the case for the 2021 Rock Art Field School.

As part of the 10-day field school in July, we were pleased to welcome Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, Rio Tinto and Archaeology students from UWA onto Murujuga.

Together with MAC Rangers, the group participated in a cultural induction, Welcome to Country and training day before they were out on country recording some of our amazing rock art and learning to use the latest technology to build our database of knowledge of this country.

MAC Circle of Elders also shared their knowledge of country with the Field School and heard from the School on the progress of the records.

The field school is run by UWA and funded by Rio Tinto’s Conservation Agreement, in collaboration with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

Rock Art Field School on country with local elders.

World Heritage Community Day

On Friday 30 July, MAC Rangers, Circle of Elders and community members came together in Roebourne to discuss the World Heritage process and to gather stories for the nomination.

Supported by Woodside Sponsorship Agreement and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the community had a yarn over lunch about plants as well as cultural mapping for Murujuga.

Another community session will be held at the Yatha in the coming weeks. For more details, keep an eye on the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation Facebook page.

Did you spot us at FeNaCING?

Along with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, we were at the 2021 FeNaCING Festival, from 31 July to 1 August, promoting our ongoing efforts and work towards attaining World Heritage status for Murujuga National park.

Our team chatted to more than 500 people over the two-day festival at Bulgarra Oval.

MAC is continuing to work with our dedicated team and partners on the World Heritage submission and we will be heading to the Dampier Markets on Saturday 21 August to continue community conversations about the progress. Stop by and say hi if you’re around.

Cultural mapping of Archipelago Islands

We’re excited to kick off cultural mapping of Archipelago Islands this month using some new drone technology.

Funded through Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries’ Connecting to Country grants, the $25,000 project will implement aerial and terrestrial LiDAR technology to render a 3D virtual image of an outer Archipelago Island.

The cultural mapping project will assist in the World Heritage nomination and general monitoring of our land.

UNESCO 2023

We are still on track for submission to UNESCO in 2023. Just this month, Murujuga National Park ranger June Djiagween was a guest on Ngara Media discussing how knowledge holders and participants can still be part of the World Heritage process.

The Heritage Committee will meet again in October to discuss and review the draft of the remaining key chapters for World Heritage Status application. We look forward to continuing this process and keeping you posted with exciting updates.

Murujuga Ranger Program

Rock Art Tours

It’s been a busy couple of months for our Rock Art Tours with more than 70 people attending the Bookeasy Rock Art Tours and 55 attending the Corporate Rock Art Tours.

The Friends of Australian Rock Art (FARA) 2021 took place earlier this month with attendees leaving Perth by coach on 31 July for a week long tour into Murujuga country.

The unique opportunity allows visitors to explore and learn about our ancient rock art and heritage, and the significance of rock art in our culture.

The group started the tour with a cultural awareness presentation delivered by the MAC Rangers and our Chairman Vince Adams. Our Rangers accompanied the group on the country tours to ensure Cultural Safety protocols were maintained.

We continue to run our Experience Murujuga tours where visitors can join our Rangers on a 90-minute rock art and cultural experience at Nganjarli (previously known as Deep George). If you know of anyone who would like to take part in the tour, more details including prices and how to book can be found here.

Junior Ranger Program

As we further develop the Junior Ranger program with the aim to recommence delivery in Term 4, we are in discussion about potential partnerships with Clontarf Boys Academy and Big Picture Foundation. We have taken on your feedback and lessons learnt from the pilot program, helping us to enhance future delivery.

Conservation and Land Management Training

Our MAC Rangers recently attended the Conservation and Land Management Training as part of TAFE’s Certificate III qualification. The training proved extremely beneficial for the Rangers, with our team learning more about landscape, revegetation and propagation, irrigation systems and how to control weeds and plant pests.

Ranger activity

Our Rangers have been extremely busy over the past couple of months, with some of the highlights including:

  • Attendance at Circle of Elders birthday celebrations in early July.
  • MAC Board lunch on 28 July.
  • Attendance at Roebourne Community recording meeting (30 July).

Business & Employment Development Unit

BEDU Bulletin

The BEDU Bulletin is a bi-monthly update with the latest training and employment opportunities, upcoming events and invites, and feature profiles on MAC member businesses.

Subscribe to our digital newsletter here or email us.

The importance of branding workshop

On Wednesday 25 August, the Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hosting an interactive zoom-based workshop focusing on “The Importance of Branding” with Adele Scala from Curly Bird Marketing.

Home Ownership Scheme

Are you looking to purchase your first home? For most of us, making the decision to buy an affordable home is a huge investment and not one to take lightly. The Home Ownership Scheme for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people provides support and advice on the best suitable home loans. Depending on your household size, level of income and any existing financial commitments, the Home Ownership Scheme has a number of options to help you.

Want to get started, commence your application here.

Murujuga Cultural Awareness

Leeuwin Ship - Welcome to Country

In a special event, MAC’s Cultural Advisor Patrick Churnside delivered a Welcome to Country aboard the Leeuwin Ship on 31 July. This presented a wonderful opportunity for MAC to engage with the community in what is a very special and important time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Cultural Awareness Presentation

We were pleased to welcome representatives from the Conservation Council on country earlier this month to receive our Cultural Awarenesss training.

The training was a highlight for our MAC Rangers Peter Cooper and Corey Adams in particular, who delivered the session for the first time.

The session provides participants an insight into the culture heritage and history of the area as well as an understanding of the importance of our culture.

In total, we’ve had more than 50 people complete our corporate cultural awareness training over the past two months.

Conservation Council representatives with MAC Rangers Peter Cooper and Corey Adams

Managing Culture, Climate Change and Industry

MAC CEO Peter Jeffries will join Director of the Centre for Rock Art Research + Management Jo McDonald speaking at this year’s Gentilli Public Lecture and School of Social Sciences Prize-giving Ceremony.

Taking place at UWA on Wednesday 8 September the presentation will focus on Managing Culture, Climate Change and Industry: a two-way conversation on the deep history and future of Murujuga (Dampier Archipelago).

Future generations take up cultural awareness training

In the past two months, we’ve attended four school cultural presentations at Tambrey Primary School, Karratha Senior High School, Wickham Primary School and Karratha Primary School, covering a range of topics.

Industry & Community News

The Boola Bardip Museum

The Boola Bardip Museum continues to offer free admission until approximately June 2022 into the current exhibition featuring breathtaking panoramic scans of Murujuga land and sea country to help educate the public about the richness of our culture.

The museum is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm and entry is free, but it’s best to book free tickets online to avoid long waits.

Power outages

We've recently experienced a number of power outages at Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation. We apologise for any inconveniences. For any power outage updates, please follow our Facebook page.

MAC Member Reminders

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Stay safe and look after each other

Office Address: 313 King Bay Road, Dampier, WA 6713

Postal Address: PO Box 1544, Karratha, WA 6714

Email: admin@murujuga.org.au | Phone: +61 8 9144 4112