Creating Communities signs Cultural Compact

By Donna Shepherd AM • Managing Director
• News

Kim Wiltshire, Cheryl Drage, Donna Shepherd, Desmond Taylor, Joseph Sollis and Jessica Barker after signing the ‘This is Our Dream’ Cultural Compact in Newman.

Martu and Nyiyaparli have dreamed of this place and can see a better future for all.

With these simple but thoughtfully crafted words, the ‘This Is Our Dream’ Cultural Compact for the Newman community acknowledges the past while keeping an eye firmly on the future, where all people and all sectors of the community can work towards a common goal.

Creating Communities is proud to have officially joined the Cultural Compact, which our Managing Director Donna Shepherd signed at the Newman Futures end of year event in November.

We see this step as a tangible and meaningful part of our commitment to forming new partnerships to build a stronger future for the Newman community, with better cultural understanding, a transformed local economy and people trained for the jobs that technological change is delivering.

This Is Our Dream is a rallying call for a new way forward in Newman where Nyiyaparli and Martu invite others to commit to equitable relations. Creating Communities is proud to be walking on this new pathway with Nyiyaparli, Martu and others,” Donna said.

This Is Our Dream was launched in Newman in July 2020 at a ceremony in which the document was signed by chair of Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation, Bradley Hall, and Martu elder and chair of Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation, Melvin Farmer.

The statement sets out a vision for a future in which all people can walk together. It is both a declaration and an invitation. Parties that sign the statement acknowledge Nyiyaparli and Martu sovereignty of their lands in the East Pilbara and Central Western Desert regions, an unbroken connection, inherited from ancestors and stretching back for more than 40,000 years. Signatories also thank the Nyiyaparli and Martu for naming, caring for and being custodians of landscapes, language, culture and law, which enrich and enliven us all.

The Cultural Compact is based around Kujunkarrinjanka, a Martu word that means “Coming Together”. It is a powerful word that unites people and groups from different sectors of the community, each with their own strengths to work together for the benefit of everyone.

For us at Creating Communities, signing the statement is a logical and compelling action. It is our way of declaring our support for the ambitions of the statement as well as the broader Newman Futures strategy, that we support a stronger, more inclusive future for all sectors of the Newman community, and that the Martu and Nyiyaparli people should have a more prominent and meaningful role in determining their own path.

The statement is an invitation to all people, communities, organisations and government to walk forward in a new way acknowledging Nyiyaparli and Martu land, culture, language and law. This new journey is one of mutual respect, inclusive decision-making and increased access to opportunities.

We hope that many more individuals and organisations in Newman will join the movement and help make this dream a reality.