We were lucky enough to have 6 Indigenous Leaders from the Outback invited by the Women’s Interest Minister Simone McGurk for morning tea at parliament house on Thursday.
We have been working with these women as a part of the Create Ranger Parks campaign. The women, who represent five different language groups in the Pilbara, Mid-West and Gascoyne regions of WA, travelled to Perth on Tuesday. They also participated in a Federal Labor First Nations Women’s Policy Forum.
Nyaparu Rose, Mrs Doris Eaton and Bianca McNeair all spoke at the morning tea. Bianca shared a beautiful story about her connection to country, Mrs Eaton expressed frustration at how govt imposes it’s ‘programs’ on Indigenous people without there being a partnership approach taken were local knowledge is respected, while Nyaparu spoke about how ‘country is medicine’ for her people. Bianca was the last speaker and brought the Create Ranger Parks message home to the dozen or so MPs who attended, of which all parties (other than fishers and shooters) were in attendance.
It was great spending time with these women, they have networked together and are sharing knowledge about setting up ranger programs in their areas (if they don’t have one already). It was a good way to also strengthen relationships we have already established with Meeangu Wajarri Aboriginal Corporation, Malgana Working Group, Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corp, Njamal Trust and Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation.