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Board Projects

 

Living Water Surveys

Since 2007, the senior women on Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board have worked with Rio Tinto to regularly monitor the health of the Weeli Wolli Creek.  Board Members Linda Parker, Suzanne Parker and Bonny Tucker, accompanied by three younger Nyiyaparli and Bunyjima women and Rio Tinto Hope Downs 1 staff, visit the Creek twice a year to conduct these monitoring activities. They visit 24 locations throughout the week-long trips, testing water quality, water levels and sampling numbers of fish and other species living in and around the Creek. This work is then included in the Annual Environmental Reports submitted by Rio Tinto to the Regulators and findings are also presented at Board meetings.

Signage Project

In 2008, the Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board supported a project to create interpretive signs showing the significance of the Creek System, Traditional Owner names of the important plants and animals and fish of the area. These impressive signs are displayed at the discharge gabion along the Creek to inform visitors, including tourists, of the plants and animals in the local environment.In August 2011, the board officially launched the interpretive signs at an event on site which was attended by senior Rio Tinto representatives. The Board also sponsored shade sails to be put up at the gabion and tables and chairs will soon be put in place to enable visitors can sit, relax and read the signs and enjoy the surrounding environment.

Women’s Project

In 2008, the Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board supported the Women’s Project which resulted in a film about the story of the women and their beliefs and cultural practices at Weeli Wolli Creek. The film premiered at an event in the east Pilbara town of Newman, hosted by the Nyiyaparli and Banyjima women, supported by AnthroposAustralis (WA) Pty Ltd and funded by Rio Tinto. This Project also produced a book on what Weeli Wolli Creek means to the Nyiyaparli and Banyjima women, highlighting the story of the ladies and their ongoing connection to the Creek.

Cultural Awareness at the Creek

In late March 2013, the Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board and senior Rio Tinto managers came together to participate in the Cultural Sharing and Campout at Weeli Wolli Creek. Rio Tinto management enjoyed listening to cultural songs sung in the night by Nyiyaparli and Banyjima elders David Stock, Gordon Yuline, Suzie Yuline and Bonny Tucker, and stories of the Creek told by Brian Tucker.  Throughout the camping sessions, the Nyiyaparli and Banyjima members of the Board taught Rio Tinto attendees about the significance that the Creek has within their culture.

NAIDOC Week Celebrations

Staff at Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs 4 mining operation celebrated their first NAIDOC Week on 10 July 2013 and thefestivities were opened by Brian Tucker and Victor Parker of the Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board. The celebrations continued into the evening at the Hope Downs 1 Village with a ‘bush-tucker barbeque’ of kangaroo, emu, water buffalo, turtle and dugong provided by the Traditional Owners. Speeches were given by Greater Hope Downs general manager John Dumbill and senior Traditional Owner Brian Tucker, supported by the entire Board. The night was enjoyed by everyone including both Hope Downs 1 and Hope Downs 4 staff and Traditional Owners  and we look forward to similar events happening next year.


Men’s Project

The Weeli Wolli Creek Co-Management Board is now in the final stages of the Men’s Project, which is being undertaken by the Nyiyaparli and Banyjima Traditional Owners with the assistance of AnthroposAustralis (WA) Pty Ltd and funded by Rio Tinto. Since January 2012, Brian Tucker (Nyiyaparli) and Trevor Parker (Banyjima) have digitally recorded songs, dances and stories relating to traditions associated with different locations in the Weeli Wolli Creek system to ensure these will be preserved and passed on to the  future generations. The outcomes of the Men’s Project will include a public video describing the process of how the recordings were made, and a detailed, restricted access component for the Nyiyaparli and Banyjima men to use in passing on their cultural knowledge to younger members.