1st February 2022, marks a very special and historical moment for Yawuru people, as we forge a new era for our people in taking over the pastoral operations at Roebuck Plains Station on Gumaranganyjal.
The cattle and pastoral industries in the Kimberley were built on the back of our old people’s blood, sweat and tears, and for us now to be in the position to take control of the station is a tribute to their legacy and their sacrifice.
Roebuck Plains Station and Roebuck Export Depot were handed back to Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) by the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) in 2014, with the ILSC managing the operations via a lease agreement.
During the ILSC’s management of the station NBY has been engaged in capacity development and cultural and environmental protection, including management of the Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).
We have been managing our buru (country) for millennia, it is part of us, and Roebuck has always been of important cultural significance for Yawuru people. To have control of our land will mean our cultural practices and language will be kept alive and can be handed down to our young people on country.
We will balance the operations and management of the station with Yawuru cultural, social and environmental values, and we hope this will create a blueprint for other groups to follow in the future.
Our young people will also get training and employment opportunities which will recognise and value their innate knowledge and understanding of country and foster their connection to culture.
We want our old people to feel empowered and we hope they will feel immense pride that we have created the opportunity to build on the legacy they put in place.
We are excited about creating a sustainable future as we continue to grow mabu liyan, mabu buru and mabu ngarrungunil. (good wellbeing, healthy country and strong community).
An official ceremony to hand over management will be held later in the year.
Nini Mills, CEO NBY