The Nyiyaparli people in Western Australia’s north have been granted native title over 40,000 square kilometres of traditional country that includes the town of Newman and the Aboriginal communities of Jigalong and Parnpajinya, the Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation said.

The land also includes several pastoral leases and significant mining operations.

An on-country Federal Court hearing was held last week at Coondiner Pool, 130kms north of Newman where the Nyiyaparli were formally recognised as the native title holders over the land.

A celebration was held by the native title representative body for the Pilbara, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation and by the prescribed body corporate, Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation (KNAC).

Traditional owner and KNAC member Bradley Hall said the day had been 20-years coming.

“It has been almost 20-years leading us to this day and I am proud of this achievement as we have worked together to overcome the challenges faced along the way,” Mr Hall said.

“Unfortunately, some of our elders were not here to celebrate this milestone but it’s because of them that we are celebrating our native title recognition here at Coondiner Pool.”

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Simon Hawkins said they were proud to have worked with the Nyiyaparli people and the federal and state governments to achieve a successful determination.

By Wendy Caccetta