Since 2014, Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has been supporting a team of Aboriginal elders and community members to capture the untold stories of the Yindjibarndi people on film.
An initiative of the Gamburlarna Project, the Untold Stories project has seen 20 community members, including Big hART’s Yijala Yala Project and Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation work together to record the stories of some Yindjibarndi elders.
In an effort to make the initiative self-sustaining, the Untold Stories project also trains local community members to film, produce and edit the footage.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Nev Power, said the Untold Stories project is a great example of the many Aboriginal communities that are using digital technologies to illustrate and celebrate their ancient culture.
“This year’s NAIDOC theme ‘Songlines: The living narrative of our nation’ encourages us to reflect on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and celebrate its rich diversity. It is important to increase our shared knowledge of Aboriginal culture to lead to a deeper understanding of Australia’s first people,” Mr Power said.
“We believe this is for the benefit of our whole community and Fortescue is proud to play its part.”
Twenty community members have participated in the project so far, with five elders involved in the filming, including senior elder, Bruce Monadee.
Mr Monadee said it was about time he told his story and had it recorded properly.
“It is important to record what we have done and what happened. We have been walking with the other elders, roaming the Fortescue River and where we grew up. It was good to say how we felt when we first became a part of Roebourne, meeting other tribes and reflecting on how that made us feel and how it affected us,” he said.
The Gamburlarna Project is an initiative of Fortescue and the Wirlu-Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (WMYAC), supported by the WA National Trust. The WMYAC is a representative body of the traditional owners of part of the land where Fortescue’s Solomon mine operates, the Yindjibarndi People.
Fortescue has committed to contributing $3 million over three years towards the Gamburlarna Project.
Gamburlarna is the Yindjibarndi name for a significant geographical feature on Yindjibarndi traditional lands.