Keeping Culture Strong in Newman

Nyiyaparli people are rainmakers, they talk to the cloud rocks when water is needed, making deserts green and rivers flow.

Keeping Culture Strong in Newman

“It’s so important that we engage Martu and Nyiyaparli going forward into the future – the social impact that this will have on Newman will bring with it so many opportunities for everyone.”

– Bradley Hall, Nyiyaparli man and musician.

Nyiyaparli people are rainmakers, they talk to the cloud rocks when water is needed, making deserts green and rivers flow.

Nyiyaparli people have sustained the lands in and around Newman for over 60,000 years.

Long before iron ore was discovered and well before planes ferried miners in and out of town, Nyiyaparli and Martu people have had an economy in the Pilbara, with deep connections between culture, language and country.

While the Pilbara is rich with industry and employment opportunities, Martu and Nyiyaparli people have not always been included in the current economy, but through collaboration, co-design and sharing their aspirations, the narrative is changing.

Formalising an alliance

Newman and Jigalong are Nyiyaparli country.

Nyiyaparli asked Martu to look after Jigalong many, many years ago, when they travelled from their desert lands. Martu now uphold Aboriginal traditions and culture on that Country. Now, Nyiyaparli and Martu live in Newman together.

In July 2020, Nyiyaparli and Martu signed a landmark agreement, the “This is our Dream” Cultural Compact, inviting organisations and individuals to walk forward in a new way with Nyiyaparli and Martu to improve outcomes in Newman.

During the process of supporting the Cultural Compact, Creating Communities has built strong relationships with a number of people, including singer, songwriter and former chair of Karlka Nyiyaparli Aborignal Corporation, Bradley Hall, a Nyiyaparli man passionate about building a better future for Newman.

“In signing the Declaration, we are asking businesses to acknowledge our heritage, cultures and traditions,” he said.

“And in return, we will support them on their journey of cultural awareness, training and new ways of doing business that are inclusive for all.”

Planning for the future of Newman

The plan to revitalise East Newman was conceived in 2020 in the Newman Futures strategy. Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation, Jamakurnu Yapalikurnu Aboriginal Corporation, BHP, Shire of East Pilbara and the Premier of Western Australia are all co-signatories of the Newman Futures strategy.

The East Newman Revitalisation Precinct Structure Plan, resulting from the Cultural Compact, is the first major Nyiyaparli and Martu led planning and represents an opportunity for organisations to join Nyiyaparli and Martu in realising a new vision for East Newman.

Nyiyaparli and Martu are seeking commitments to address homelessness, overcrowding and are seeking purpose-fit housing, home ownership support, improvements to amentiy and community facilities to support health and cultural outcomes.

Creating Communities Managing Director Donna Shepherd said it has been a privilege to work alongside Nyiyaparli and Martu people in developing this strategy.

“Since the beginning of the Newman Futures project, Nyiyaparli and Martu have articulated strong vision for culture and family grounded in respect between people,” she said.

“Good housing in the Western Desert communities and Newman is central to this vision.

Without adequate housing, health, educational and economic outcomes will continue to be compromised.

– Donna Shepherd

“To address this Nyiyaparli and Martu have been proactive in leading the development of a Structure Plan for East Newman to invite stakeholders to join them in their efforts to make the changes that are needed to ensure strong families and culture in the future.”

As our reflection of thirty years of our clients, people and history draw to a close, we found time to chat with Managing Director, Donna Shepherd, to hear her thoughts on the road ahead for Creating Communities....
As our reflection of thirty years of our clients, people and history draws to a close, we caught up with Founding Director, Allan Tranter, for his take on the next logical step on the road ahead for Creating Communities....
In our 30 years, we’ve hosted thousands of events that encourage connection, networking and vibrancy in communities. From ABBA Tribute bands to blue tree painting for mental health, community events aren’t just for the community, but our team get to have a lot of fun bringing them to life....
Check out a few pictures we dug up from throughout the years....
As our work has developed and evolved over the 30 years, our purpose has stayed the same - we continue to engage people and organisations to find common ground and build social value by discovering community spirit, designing strategies that inspire action and collaboration and delivering change that matters by...
One of the things we attribute to our success as a consultancy is the diversity of the people we employ. There’s a reason we connect so well with communities – it’s the depth and breadth of our experience....