Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) brings together and represents our lands five traditional Aboriginal language groups; Ngarluma, Mardudhunera, Yaburara, Yindjibarndi, and Wong-Goo-Tt-Oo. On a mission to preserve and protect its landholdings for future generations and to enrich and support the welfare of its members, MAC is paving the way for its people to work together for Country, and to respect cultural lore, heritage, and traditions.

Dear Members,

Welcome to our members’ newsletter for June. Our first MAC newsletter in April had a great response and proved to be a very useful way to touch base with members and keep them informed. We are so glad you enjoyed reading it and found the information helpful.

Firstly, I would like to thank all MAC members, staff and the wider community who are continuing to look after one another during the challenging times the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought upon us. It is of the utmost importance that we all stay informed, act responsibly and look after each other.

The MAC office is open and it’s business as usual, however we are maintaining operations in line with Government guidelines and assessing visitor needs accordingly. We appreciate your patience and support during this time.

Many projects have quickly progressed over the past few months which is so humbling to see and be a part of. I have had the pleasure in announcing approved funding for rock art research, been a part of numerous COVID-19 support programs to best look after our members, signed off on the Karratha car and boat wash land lease, and I am excited to soon make a marine research discovery announcement – which you’ll be the first to hear about very soon.

While there is so much happening around the world, please know we are continuing at a rapid pace in many areas of the organisation that will pave the way for a bright future.

Ngayintharri gumawarni ngurrangga and stay safe.


Peter Jeffries

CEO, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation

Ngajarli (Deep Gorge) temporarily closed for amenity upgrades

Ngajarli (formally known as Deep Gorge) within Murujuga National Park is currently closed to the public to allow for the construction of new boardwalks, walking trails, seating and interpretive signage.

A joint project from MAC and Parks and Wildlife Service, Western Australia these new additions will complement the petroglyph site and enhance the experience for visitors.

For the project to proceed, one of Yara Pilbara’s air monitoring stations had to be relocated to make way for the boardwalk and surrounding works.

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation CEO Peter Jeffries said “the air monitoring stations move was another project milestone and Yara Pilbara have been very supportive in assisting with the carefully planned and managed relocation to a new culturally approved area, enabling the project to proceed.

“Our land and petroglyphs (rock art) at Ngajarli are a growing drawcard for visitors and while we encourage viewings of the engravings to share our stories from the stones, we are also responsible for protecting them, along with the surrounding fauna and flora” said Mr Jeffries.

The boardwalk and tourism area is due to reopen in August 2020 and will help manage the increasing number of visitors to Ngajarli in the Murujuga National Park.

Ngajarli (formally known as Deep Gorge) within Murujuga National Park: Image credit - Fuzz Digital

Murujuga World Heritage Listing nomination update

Works continue by MAC and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to progress a World Heritage nomination for Murujuga. Since the August 2018 announcement that World Heritage listing would be pursued for Murujuga, several significant steps were taken to advance the nomination.

Throughout 2019, with assistance from the Murujuga Heritage Committee, Interagency Taskforce and World Heritage Advisor, MAC and DBCA worked together to develop a submission supporting the addition of Murujuga Cultural Landscape to the World Heritage Tentative list. It was approved by the MAC Board State Government in late 2019 and transmitted by the Australian Government to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in January 2020.

World Heritage Listing nomination helping to protect Murujuga's outstanding universal values.

Tropical black lip rock oyster trial project returns successful results

Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) has been working on the development of an edible tropical rock oyster industry in the Pilbara since 2017 in collaboration with the Pilbara Development Commission, City of Karratha, Maxima Pearling Company and the Australian Governments Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The first research milestone has just been reached by using broodstock collected from Cone Bay in the Kimberley to successfully breed the species in DPIRD's marine shellfish hatchery in Perth.

The black lip rock oyster spat will continue to be grown in the hatchery until it is relocated to one of the northern research trial sites, including leases in Murujuga National Park’s Flying Foam Passage, in September 2020.

Flying Foam Passage trial oyster farm within the islands of Murujuga National Park on the Burrup Peninsula will soon be home for the growing black lip rock oyster brood stock.

Food delivery project keeps communities safe during coronavirus

The Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation has joined forces with other Pilbara organisations to ensure members and communities in and around Roebourne have easy access to vital groceries during the coronavirus disruption.

The Food Safety and Healthy Homes initiative has been launched to help families finding it difficult to access essential grocery foods during the pandemic. Those in need of financial assistance to buy supplies can also get help.

The delivery-only initiative services Roebourne, along with the Weymul, Cheeditha, Ngurrawana and 5 Mile communities, and brings groceries straight to people’s doors so they can stay safe at home and as healthy as possible with nutritious food.

Left to right: Barrie East (Disability Manager, EPIC), Emma Dumbrell (Acting CEO, Yaandina Community Services), Jim Horrace (Director, MAC), Peter Jeffries (CEO, MAC), Bruce Jorgensen (CEO, Ngarluma Yinjibarndi Foundation Ltd) and Uncle David Walker (Chair, Ngarliyarndu Bindirri)

Businesses gain from Murujuga culture awareness

MAC has recently launched a new online cultural awareness induction to educate businesses, contractors and community members on Murujuga’s rich culture and history.

The induction is essential for any person conducting business with MAC, and community members are encouraged to complete the induction for cultural awareness. Funds raised from the inductions contribute towards looking after country and helping to ensure MAC's sustainability into the future.

NS Projects, a key contractor in the development of the new Murujuga Tourism Precinct, are the first business to induct their entire 50+ person workforce across Australia.

The support and genuine interest NS Projects has shown in having their workforce complete the new induction is testement to the inductions value and also the importance of MAC choosing to only work with quality, reliable and honorable businesses on any project.

Meet the team

Patrick Churnside, Murujuga Cultural Advisor

A Traditional Owner from the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Language Groups, Patrick has a diverse role at Murujuga providing advice and insight on heritage, land and culturally sensitive matters.

Whether Patrick is out on the land working alongside the traditional owners, elders and rangers or liaising with stakeholders, he carefully supports the overall objectives of MAC and acknowledges the importance of his role as a key facilitator and representative for many members.

Patrick is also heavily involved in performing arts and culture. To him, arts and culture is about connection and community. It’s a way of life and a sense of identity where he aims to be a positive role model and mentor to family members and his community.

Thank you, Patrick, for everything you do for MAC and our members.

Image: Left - Right Patrick Churnside, German Ambassador Dr Anna Prinz & Conrad Aubrey

Industry and community news

KARRATHA LOCAL JOBS PORTAL: Woodside has recently sponsored a Karratha Local Jobs Portal, available to all businesses in the City of Karratha. The portal advertises employment and training opportunities at Woodside-operated facilities, before considering FIFO workers. MAC members are encouraged to register their details and CV [click here to join the community]

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES: Applications for 2021 training opportunities at Woodside-operated facilities are due to open in late June. You can find out more information and all the details [here]

RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN (RAP): Woodside have recently released its latest report under the 2016-2020 RAP. The report covers results achieved during 2019, and highlights include good progress under the Respect, Relationships and Opportunity pillars. Woodside has commenced drafting its next RAP for 2021 to 2025 and look forward to socialising a draft with MAC members to obtain feedback and input. The 2019 RAP report can be viewed [here]

COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: Travel is permitted throughout WA, except to remote Aboriginal communities.

MAC member reminders

ARE YOUR MEMBER DETAILS UP TO DATE? Click here to update them now so we can send you important news and opportunities.

POSITION VACANT: MAC Land & Sea Unit Ranger Coordinator, applications closing Tuesday 23 June 2020 [View ad here]

MAC OFFICES ARE OPEN however due to COVID-19 minimal walk-ins are requested. Please call or email first if you need to get in touch.

SPECIAL GROCERY SUPPLEMENT now available to members – contact us if you did not receive information on this. If you have submitted your application, these are now being processed.

FOOD SAFETY AND HEALTHY HOMES initiative can help with the supply of groceries and essentials. If you need assistance, please call Yaandina’s Family Support team on 9182 1120.

NGAJARLI (DEEP GORGE) temporarily closed for amenity improvements until August 2020.

INDUCTIONS: Cultural inductions now available online [Click here]

For all the latest MAC [click here]

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