Strong Women, Strong Country – Empowering Aboriginal Women

Would you like to discuss more about the vital role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women play in protecting nature and cultural heritage?

Over the past few years NACC NRM has had the honour of working with some amazing Yamaji women in the region and is looking to further grow these relationships and support more collaboration.

To help achieve this NACC NRM is hosting a series of workshops under the project ‘Yamaji Women Learning On Country’ for Aboriginal women from across the Yamaji Region to discuss opportunities in conservation and environmental monitoring.

Yamaji Women Learning on Country is a collaborative consultative project initiated by NACC NRM in partnership with other like-minded organisations. The project will bring together Aboriginal women, scientific research and natural resource management organisations active in the region to identify complementary objectives and common ground between Aboriginal and Western approaches and priorities for scientific research and natural resource monitoring.

This project will focus on gathering knowledge through community engagement and consultation – involving a series of four regional workshops – Geraldton, Denham, Kalbarri and Mount Gibson Sanctuary – which will provide local Aboriginal women with an opportunity to learn more about, and contribute to natural resource management monitoring, training and implementation activities.

L-R Julie Dwyer, Irene Kelly, Jacklyn Kelly, Clurrisa Kelly, Monique Darcy and Samara Martin assisting Bush Heritage with their Malleefowl mound monitoring.

NACC’s Aboriginal Program Coordinator Bianca McNeair said that engaging Yamaji women in scientific environmental monitoring is connecting them and their families to traditional country and passing on Traditional Ecological Knowledge that is thousands of years old.

Ms McNeair added ‘Aboriginal women are still a minority in caring for country programs, and the restrictions that family life create make it very hard for many Aboriginal women to work out on country.”

“Aboriginal women have a unique contribution to caring for country that includes the individual, the family and the community – creating programs that deliver outcomes for conservation, culture, health and economy all at the same time.”

Nanda Traditional Custodian Irene Kelly is currently in involved with the scientific monitoring of threatened species – like Malleefowl – and is looking forward to joining the workshops and encourages other women to join also.

Ms Kelly added “Working on-country helps reinforce our sense of belonging, and shows our children that this is our traditional cultural heritage, our language and that we have a responsibility to look after our land.”


For more information and to register your interest please contact NACC’s Biodiversity Program Coordinator Jessica Stingemore on (E) or (P) 9938 0106 or NACC’s Aboriginal Program Coordinator Bianca McNeair on (E) or (P) 08 9938 0129

This project is supported by NACC NRM, through funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.

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