Ex­ten­sive pro­ject records Yind­jibarndi peo­ple’s his­tory

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Tom Zaun­mayr

An in­dige­nous ar­chiv­ing pro­ject based in Roe­bourne is be­ing as­sessed for State and po­ten­tially na­tional sig­nif­i­cance be­cause of its unique and ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion.

Ju­luwarlu Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion has been record­ing the his­tory of the Yind­jibarndi peo­ple in elec­tronic ar­chives through mea­sures such as in­ter­views, film­ing, lis­ten­ing to el­ders and old pho­tos and records from as far back as the early set­tler days.

For the past week, con­sul­tant ar­chiv­ist Jen Ford has been in Roe­bourne to as­sess the scope of Ju­luwarlu’s work.

Ms Ford said she was yet to find an­other col­lec­tion sim­i­lar to this one.

“This so far is the only one I’ve come across that con­nects ev­ery­thing to­gether — oral his­to­ries, movies, pho­to­graphs, film of peo­ple on coun­try and of coun­try it­self,” she said.

“This can be used by the next gen­er­a­tion to learn about the coun­try and by the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion to learn about their fam­ily his­tory.

“Ju­luwarlu has al­ways been an or­gan­i­sa­tion which keeps up with tech­nol­ogy that does make it a lot more ac­ces­si­ble.”

Ms Ford’s de­ci­sion will dic­tate the im­por­tance of the col­lec­tion, po­ten­tially open­ing the doors to more grants.

JAC phys­i­cal ar­chiv­ist Jo Pritch- ard said hav­ing an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment would add cred­i­bil­ity to the ar­chive.

“To have an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment sets your pri­or­i­ties of where you go with the col­lec­tion and what the most ur­gent tasks to com­plete are,” she said.

“Work­ing here, one day I could be work­ing on oral his­to­ries, the next I could be digi­tis­ing tapes, scan­ning pho­tos or ac­ces­sion­ing new items.

“I think the best way to record his­tory is out on coun­try. That sparks the mem­ory.”

Ms Pritchard said she was able to spend a lot of time get­ting to know mem­bers of the com­mu­nity at Ju­luwarlu. The as­sess­ment has been un­der­taken thanks to a $6265 Fed­eral Govern­ment grant an­nounced by Min­is­ter for Arts Mitch Fi­field in Oc­to­ber last year.

Pic­ture: Ju­luwarlu Group Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion

Mem­bers of Ju­luwarlu with their grant cer­tifi­cate.

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