Our People

Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation Leadership

Our Corporation's leaders include some of the Pilbara's most respected elders and law bosses with all having a wealth of knowledge and experience.

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PHOTO: Wirlu-murra members at the recent AGM 

Directors 

  • Ken Sandy 
  • John Sandy
  • Allery Sandy
  • Aileen Sandy
  • Jimmy Horace
  • Penny Little
  • Vince Adams
  • Gloria Lee
  • Maudie Jerrold
  • Jayne Ranger
  • Rodney Adams
  • Karen Toby

Yindjibarndi People and Our Country

The Yindjibarndi people are the traditional owners of a large part of the central Pilbara stretching from the Millstream-Chichester National Park south across the Fortescue River into the Hamersley Ranges.

From the earliest days of European settlement of the Pilbara in the 1860's, Yindjibarndi people provided labour for the pearlers of Cossack and the owners of the sheep stations.

For a century the Aboriginal stockmen received no wages. In the late 1960's when the Arbitration Commission decided that they should receive equal wages the pastoralists forced them off the stations. The Yindjibarndi people moved to Roebourne to live with their traditional neighbours the Ngarluma, Kuruma, Banyjima, Kariyarra and Mardudhunera.

The 1960's also saw the beginnings of the iron ore industry in the Pilbara. Thousands of workers came to build the first boom. But the benefits of the new wealth passed by the Aboriginal population. Unemployment, inadequate housing, poor health and education outcomes are still part of Roebourne life today.

The Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi people are determined to ensure that their children will not be forgotten in the second economic boom.

The Yindjibarndi Story – by Allery Sandy

The Wirlu-murra Aboriginal Corporation has been set up by a majority of Yindjibarndi people who have been through so much and have established their own corporation. The elders' role, the men and the women, has been really strong since this group started. I've never seen the people speak out before. It has given them a voice to have leadership within the community and within their own culture too.

All men and women play a major role in the culture, it is a shared culture and no one is the boss of any cultural law. We get trained by our elders to be the next teachers of our culture and that continues with our little ones too, we teach them to take on the role when we are not around, when we leave this world. When it's culture time nobody's the boss over anyone, except the boys they choose, to do the work, they're the workers.

Wirlu-murra is a group of people who speak from their hearts and they're a happy bunch of people. And the attitude of the Wirlu murra people is about building up relationships with other communities and people like mining companies, working together with them.

When you go to talk about the land you walk together in the country. The expression in your heart is joyful. You're sharing the sad time of our people and what they have been going through. When you're talking about the country you're building a relationship more with the person that's with you, like the boys that go round surveying, and even the women, and that becomes like a bigger relationship and trust. Then we can talk about anything. A 'hello' goes a long way. If you can't respect somebody or your attitude is not right how can you build your relationship with people? There are good Yindjibarndi people around and there are some that do their own thing.

I think we've come a long way, a really long way. We need to keep pushing, to keep going.