Extensive project records Yindjibarndi people’s history
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.
Members of Juluwarlu with their grant certificate.