Com­mit­tee ad­di­tion

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A Ngar­luma man heav­ily in­volved in pro­mot­ing cul­ture through the per­form­ing arts in Roe­bourne has been ap­pointed to a WA com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for ad­vis­ing on Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tural sites and arte­facts.

Late last month, Pa­trick Churn­side was an­nounced as one of four new mem­bers of the Abo­rig­i­nal Cul­tural Ma­te­rial Com­mit­tee, an in­de­pen­dent State body that as­sesses places and ob­jects be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and ad­vises the Min­is­ter for Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs.

Mr Churn­side said he was en­cour­aged to ap­ply be­cause of his work pro­mot­ing strong links to cul­ture within the com­mu­nity, but was pleas­antly sur­prised to be ac­cepted as a younger ap­pli­cant.

“I’m pas­sion­ate about cul­tural aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly with the younger gen­er­a­tion,” he said. “The op­por­tu­nity to join the ACMC was a chance to en­sure that valu­able cul­tural ma­te­rial and sig­nif­i­cant sites re­main pro­tected, so that our young peo­ple can con­tinue to con­nect with their cul­ture and an­ces­try.”

“I am ex­cited by the op­por­tu­nity that be­com­ing a mem­ber of the ACMC presents, and am look­ing for­ward to adding value to the process.”

Mr Churn­side is chair­man of Ngar­luma Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, re­cently per­formed in stage show Hip Bone Stick­ing Out and runs cul­ture-based per­form­ing arts work­shops with Roe­bourne young peo­ple and el­ders.

The other newly ap­pointed ACMC mem­bers are Merle Carter from the East Kim­ber­ley, Bruce Smith from the Ngaany­at­jarra Lands and Lind­say Dean from the South West.

To­gether they in­crease the com­mit­tee from six to 10 mem­bers and boost its Abo­rig­i­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tion from two to six peo­ple.

Min­is­ter for Abo­rig­i­nal Af­fairs Peter Col­lier said the new mem­bers brought a wealth of knowl­edge to the com­mit­tee.

“This in­crease will give the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity con­fi­dence that peo­ple with re­gional knowl­edge and cul­tural un­der­stand­ing are in­ti­mately in­volved in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process,” he said.

“They bring con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence through their im­por­tant work with or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Kim­ber­ley Abo­rig­i­nal Law and Cul­ture Cen­tre, Kim­ber­ley Land Coun­cil, Ngar­luma Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion and the Ngaany­at­jarra Coun­cil.”

“I am con­fi­dent the ex­panded com­mit­tee will con­trib­ute strongly to the im­proved pro­tec­tion of im­por­tant Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage across the State.”

The new mem­bers have been ap­pointed for three-year terms.

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