Our History

Our History

2010
2009
2007
2005
1996
1993
1988 – 1993
1985
1984
1983
1982
1981
1977-1978
1975-1976
1974
1972
1969
1967 – 1974
1967
1964

2010

Pressure on Ngaardangali to provide Heritage Clearances and allow mining on their land continues. Karratha plans population expansion from 20,000 to 50,000 people between 2010-2020. New ports, rail and mining Infrastructure planned – yet most Ngaarda live in very impoverished conditions, with few opportunities for improving their economic or social well-being.  
Read More

2009

New discussions about the need for substantially increased reliable West Pilbara water supply due to exponential and continuing growth in iron ore mining, and a 33% increase in town populations between 1996-2009  
Read More

2007

Yindjibarndi people granted Native Title and limited access to 30% of their ancestral country.    
Read More

2005

First Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Native Title Decision (appealed) Intensive new developments in the mining & resource industries lead to the pegging of mining leases over most of the Pilbara. Pressure on Native Title holders to provide Heritage Clearances in return for limited royalties grows.  
Read More

1996

Start of the joint Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Land Rights Claim    
Read More

1993

Roger Solomon,Yindjibarndi/Ngarluma Elder, narrator of Exile & the Kingdom passes away.  
Read More

1988 – 1993

Frank Rejavic & Noelene Harrison film Exile & the Kingdom documenting Ngaarda cultural heritage & history  
Read More

1985

May 28 - Official Opening of Harding Dam  
Read More

1984

June - Western Australia’s Land Rights Inquiry Commissioner, Paul Seaman meets with Roebourne people July - Yindjibarndi Elders request Federal High Court to stop the construction of the Harding Dam August - Federal High Court rejects Ngaarda application to stop the building of Harding Dam
Read More

1983

Yindjibarndi leader, Long Mack passes away February - WA State elections bring Labor Party to power, leading to hopes that plans to build Harding Dam will be set aside. Nothing changes. April - Ngaarda hold a meeting at the Dam site to survey and mourn for what will be lost. September - 18 year old, John Pat’s Death in Custody in Roebourne Gaol. His death, which led to the Commonwealth...
Read More

1982

February - Harding Dam construction contract signed. March - Construction begins on Harding Dam. April/May - Public comment period regarding the Harding Dam Environmental Impact Report. April - Petition tabled in Parliament requesting further investigation regarding proposed Dam. The Public Works Department claimed decision for Dam on Harding River was only taken after 8 years of consultation with Aboriginal people. July - Long Mack writes to the Minister for Water...
Read More

1981

The Registrar of Aboriginal Sites undertakes investigation and assessment of cultural sites in the proposed Dam and catchment area, and clears the way for the Dam to proceed. This was done after a brief two day visit to Roebourne and without consultation with senior Yindjibarndi knowledge holders. May - Harding River announced as PWSS preferred Dam site. June - Initial design & construction investigations undertaken. July - First public reports...
Read More

1977-1978

Several other Dam sites are proposed. A three month-long survey of other options preferred by PWSS is carried out by Aboriginal Cultural Heritage consultants. Their recommendations are rejected by Government. Yindjibarndi Elders are unable to rally other Pilbara Bush Meeting delegates to support their need to reject PWSS proposal to Dam the Harding River at Cooya Pooya / Lockyer’s Gorge.  
Read More

1975-1976

The first Pilbara Aboriginal Bush Meeting considers the cultural heritage of the Fortescue site, and rejects the PWD. Proposal to dam the Fortescue. Further Bush Meetings also continue to reject the Proposal.  
Read More

1974

Assimilation - After many years of reports decrying the terrible living conditions on the Old Reserve, the state government removed most residents from the Old Reserve to the newly built Roebourne Aboriginal Village. No consultation was undertaken about placement of families or the positioning of the Village around the cemetery. A Shortfall in the provision of accommodation meant some 40 families could not be placed in housing. Shire of Roebourne...
Read More

1972

Duplicate pipeline built to service Wickham and Cape Lambert port. WA passes Aboriginal Heritage Act designed to conserve significant Aboriginal cultural sites.  
Read More

1969

To provide water for towns & industry, Pilbara Water Supply Scheme began piping water from Millstream National Park (in Yindjibarndi country).
Read More

1967 – 1974

Without work, no longer able to access their country, and forced to live in continuing poverty in the midst of the riches of first mining boom, many adults took up alcohol. This had a terrible effect on families and culture, until the emergence of the Pilbara Aboriginal Church, with its focus on two way culture and giving up alcohol, helped Elders to restore people’s confidence in Cultural Law. Three new...
Read More

1967

Australia granted Aboriginal people citizenship. Local Ngaarda recall that citizenship did not improve their employment opportunities and that the introduction of equal pay for Aboriginal stockmen resulted in those still working in the pastoral industry losing their jobs. With no employment elsewhere, and no way of staying on their traditional lands, more were forced to live on welfare rations on the Roebourne Reserve.
Read More

1964

Beginning of the first Pilbara Mining Boom. Government, mining & resource companies began extensive infrastructure development and construction across the west Pilbara, investing some $2,200 million in iron ore production facilities, roads, railways, ports and new towns. Many thousands of hard living construction workers arrived to live in camps in Dampier and Roebourne, yet very few Ngaardas got any kind of employment.
Read More

Gifts of the Maarga from Juluwarlu on Vimeo.