26-year wait pays off for Robe River

The Robe River Kuruma community in Western Australia’s Pilbara is celebrating its second Native Title determination after a federal court hearing at Pannawonica Hill in Robe River last week.

It follows the community’s first Native Title determination, which was made by the federal court in 2016 and covered about 4109 sq km of land.

The second determination area covers a larger area — 5720 sq km in the Shire of Ashburton and includes the middle Robe, the Bungaroo Valley and the Buckland Ranges.

The celebration was facilitated by Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation, the Native Title representative body for the Pilbara, and Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation, the body corporate.

Traditional owner and chair of Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation Sara Slattery said it had taken the community more than 26 years to get Native Title.

She paid tribute to the people who had passed away but set them on the course.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Simon Hawkins said the outcome was a historic milestone.

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