United Aboriginal voice a milestone

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph
Pilbara Aboriginal Voice co-chair Danny Brown with the symbol chosen to repersent the emerging repersentative body.
Camera IconPilbara Aboriginal Voice co-chair Danny Brown with the symbol chosen to repersent the emerging repersentative body. Credit: North West Telegraph/Daneka Hill

A collective voice for the Pilbara’s first people was consolidated last week at the Yule River On-Country Bush Meeting.

Pilbara Aboriginal Voice took over the running of the historical event for the first time this year, succeeding the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation.

First created at the 2017 Yule River meeting, PAV is an independent collective of Pilbara Aboriginal groups that lobbies on behalf of Indigenous people in the region.

PAV co-chairman Danny Brown said the PAV concept was not seen anywhere else in WA, and the occasion was a milestone.

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“Today is the first Yule River meeting that PAV, the people of the Pilbara, have led,” he said.

He said it was an exciting time for the collective.

“No doubt we are going to have some bumpy roads and obstacles but with the support of the people, we will continue to move forward,” he said.

A bundle of sticks bound in yellow, black and red string was presented by PAV as its symbol, the combined sticks representing strength in numbers.

Nationals MP Terry Redman has been a long-time attendee of the Yule River meetings and remarked on the impressiveness of PAV’s consolidation.

“That united voice is so, so critical and I know that we don’t make any progress without getting initiatives that actually have the support of the people,” he said.

After concerns were raised during the meeting about the length of question time and loss of housing in Western Desert Communities, PAV co-chairwoman Linda Dridi said the group had a powerful role to play in addressing such issues.

“It is for this reason why Pilbara Aboriginal Voice has been set up,” she said.

“Listening to Uncle Teddy and Danny Milton from the Western Desert, they are my connections, unfortunately due to lack of funds it dis-enabled us to go out to the Western Deserts.

“We need to reconnect with that group of people out there.”

Observers from Carnarvon were present at Yule River, ideas of starting their own Carnarvon Aboriginal Voice already being floated.

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