Wyatt in community dialogue

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

In his first visit to the Pilbara, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt heard the struggles of Aboriginal organisations throughout the region last week.

As the first minister for Aboriginal Affairs to attend a meeting with Pilbara Aboriginal Corporations And Enterprises in more than five years, PACE members and community members took the opportunity to engage with the new minister and voice their concerns.

With only an hour to engage with the minister, PACE members got right into it sharing concerns for Aboriginal communities from health care to housing and education of young members.

In a moment of passion, members heard from a well-loved pillar of the community, Mrs Eaton, who called upon the Aboriginal community to stand together and fight for what is their future and children, rather than blaming government for shortfalls.

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“We need to hold hands because the riches come from the Pilbara,” she said.

“We need to go on our land and stand as one united nation. We need to bond with each other, all the language groups around the Pilbara.

“Don’t forget the 46 strike, they didn’t speak English, they didn’t even write, but they spoke wisely.

“We need to take that strength because we’re blaming the Government. Sometimes we have to blame ourselves because we’re not rising.”

After the heartfelt speech, in an uncharacteristic move for a politician, Mr Wyatt agreed that if Aboriginal community members currently waited on Government, they would be disappointed.

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