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Six Noongar regional corporations appointed to South West Native Title Settlement

Jacob Morgan-de LaineNarrogin Observer
The six new regional corporations have been established to enable Noongar people to make decisions about culture, heritage and land within their own regions while collaborating as a unified Noongar nation.
Camera IconThe six new regional corporations have been established to enable Noongar people to make decisions about culture, heritage and land within their own regions while collaborating as a unified Noongar nation. Credit: AAP

Six new Noongar regional corporations were appointed to the South West Native Title Agreement last Tuesday on a historic day.

The South West Native Title settlement is the most comprehensive native title agreement in Australia covering about 200,000sqkm.

The delegates from the six Noongar regional corporations each signed a deed of novation, formalising their role as parties to the six Indigenous land use agreements that make up the settlement.

The deeds give each regional corporation the power to determine its own affairs, with South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council acting as a central body providing support and bringing the regional councils together through a Noongar corporations committee.

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The settlement covers six Noongar Agreement Groups: Yued, Whadjuk, Ballardong, Gnaala Karla, South West Boojarah and Wagyl Kaip.

The Gnaala Karla Indigenous Land Use Agreement covers the towns of Williams, Narrogin and Pingelly while the Ballardong ILUA includes the towns of Wagin, Dumbleyung, Corrigin and Lake Grace.

These six regional corporations have been established to enable Noongar people to make decisions about culture, heritage and land within their own regions while collaborating as a unified Noongar nation.

SWALSC chief executive officer Ed Armstrong said the historic milestone saw the regional corporations replace the old representative parties as party to the Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

“We take this opportunity to reflect, acknowledge the sacrifice, and sincerely thank all in the Noongar community who worked tirelessly on the settlement that has taken more than two decades to get to where we are today,” he said.

Acting SWALSC chair Noel Morich said the signing of the novation agreements was a milestone in the implementation of the South West Native Title Settlement.

“We are now moving past the start-up phase and will be able to start the new year ready to realise the benefits of the settlement on behalf of the Noongar Nation,” he said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti said he was delighted all regional corporations were now endorsed by the WA Government and appointed by the Noongar Boodja Trust to represent the Noongar nation under the settlement.

“I congratulate the regional corporation directors. . . who will be pivotal in representing their communities and voicing their aspirations and goals,” he said.

“The WA Government is committed to building strong partnerships with the regional corporations to maximise the opportunities the settlement provides, and benefit future Noongar generations.

“I look forward to seeing further progress on the settlement to further support the self-determination of all Noongar people.”

Wagyl Kaip is now in the process of recruiting its chief executive and will continue to represent and conduct projects for the benefit of the Noongar people.

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