Yinhawangka & Rio Tinto: ‘Living Cultures Program’

Yinhawangka & Rio Tinto: 'Living Cultures Program'

Geelong, Victoria – In a landmark collaboration aimed at safeguarding and celebrating Indigenous heritage, the Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) and mining giant Rio Tinto have unveiled the ‘Living Cultures Program’. Designed to nurture and protect Yinhawangka culture while fostering a resilient and connected community, this initiative marks a significant step towards promoting cultural preservation and economic empowerment. Yinhawangka & Rio Tinto: ‘Living Cultures Program’

Yinhawangka & Rio Tinto: 'Living Cultures Program'

The ‘Living Cultures Program’ is a multifaceted endeavor that encompasses a range of projects dedicated to recording, preserving, and transmitting cultural knowledge integral to the Yinhawangka People. These projects span diverse domains including language preservation, living history and heritage documentation, women’s business initiatives, arts and culture promotion, songline preservation, and the retelling of traditional stories.

Moreover, the partnership aims to stimulate local economic development opportunities, enhance social and emotional wellbeing within the community, promote cultural land management practices, and provide cultural awareness training. By investing $9.5 million over six years into the program, Rio Tinto demonstrates its commitment to supporting Indigenous communities and fostering sustainable development.

Chairperson of YAC, Lorraine Injie, expressed her gratitude towards the collaborative efforts of both Yinhawangka People and Rio Tinto in bringing the ‘Living Cultures Program’ to fruition. “The preservation, maintenance, and protection of our lived history and cultural knowledge are paramount,” she affirmed. “This project signifies a paradigm shift in the conceptualization and implementation of Aboriginal programs, empowering Yinhawangka People to reclaim control of their heritage and pave the way for a brighter future.”

Injie emphasized the importance of strengthening the partnership between YAC and Rio Tinto, highlighting their shared vision for preserving Yinhawangka heritage and enriching the cultural fabric of the community. She emphasized the significance of passing down ancestral knowledge and traditions to future generations, ensuring that the legacy of Yinhawangka People endures through the ages.

Cecile Thaxter, Rio Tinto’s Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment, and Communities, underscored the program’s dedication to preserving and enhancing Yinhawangka culture, people, and Country. “In a world where cultural heritage is increasingly vulnerable, the ‘Living Cultures Program’ offers a unique opportunity to safeguard the rich heritage of the Yinhawangka People,” she remarked. Thaxter emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in protecting cultural heritage and fostering positive intergenerational outcomes.

In addition to the ‘Living Cultures Program’, YAC and Rio Tinto have collaborated on the Western Range mining project, Rio’s inaugural co-designed mine. Together, they have developed a comprehensive social and cultural heritage management plan, outlining protocols for joint decision-making on environmental matters, mine planning, and closure. This initiative also includes support for the Yinhawangka Ranger program, aimed at increasing participation in on-Country environmental and cultural heritage management activities.

As the ‘Living Cultures Program’ unfolds, it stands as a testament to the power of collaboration in preserving Indigenous heritage, empowering communities, and fostering sustainable development. Through shared vision and collective action, Yinhawangka People and Rio Tinto embark on a journey towards a future where cultural heritage thrives, and communities flourish in harmony with their ancestral traditions.

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home. We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news. If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us! Visit our page: https://nicc.org.au/

Tony Clemenger

Chief Executive Officer

0419 431 649

Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141

Source: https://nit.com.au/08-04-2024/10697/rio-tintos-95m-investment-to-preserve-yinhawangka-culture

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