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  • 2 years ago
Rare Air - Michael Woodley 1

Rare Air - Michael Woodley 1

“Until we know no more Yindjibarndi are coming, we’ve got no right to give this country away.”
Michael Woodley, Bidarra law carrier, CEO Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation

As a human being and sometimes as a journalist, I have followed the story of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group in their native title negotiations, since 2011.

In late October 2015 I finally went to this place I’d been talking about for years with my Three Gates Media colleague Marnie Richardson. We stood at the top of Mt Welcome in Roebourne, in 40 plus degree heat and looked in all directions. Across the Harding River, we saw the place where the Yindjibarndi first camped in the 1930’s when they were herded off their land (situated south of here)…the bleak cemetery carpeted with red dust, the Fifty Cent Hall, scene of numerous native title meetings, the disused Victoria Hotel outside which sixteen year old John Pat was bashed to death in 1983 sparking the Royal Co