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Yamatji (or Yamaji is a Watjarri word bearing two basic meanings; it refers to a(n) (Aboriginal) person, normally male, and, secondly and more specifically, is used by Watjarri people to refer to a member of their tribe.[1] A third sense refers to an inter-tribal aggregation of such peoples used in contemporary land title claims and derives from the fact that it has become a name commonly used by Aboriginal people in the Murchison district to any native person born in that district.[a]


Native Title claimsEdit

The Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), pursuant to the (Commonwealth) Native Title Act 1993, is "the native title representative body (NTRB) for native title claims in the resource-rich Pilbara, Murchison and Gascoyne areas of Western Australia".[3]

As of 2017 the Yamatji have made two of the twelve claims for native title in the Geraldton region.[4] One, concerning the Wajarri Yamatji, was filed in 2004.[5] The second was filed by the Southern Yamatji in 2017.[6]

There have been four executive directors of the YMAC: Wayne Warner (1996-1998); former AFL footballer Clinton Wolf (1998-2001); Roger Cook (2001-2003) and current CEO Simon Hawkins (2003-present). YMAC was until 2017 co-chaired by Pilbara representative Doris Eaton and Yamatji Representative Ben Roberts.[7] Eaton was recognised as the NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year in 2009.[8]

Notable YamatjiEdit


  1. ^ " commonly used by natives in the Murchison for anyone of Aboriginal descent who was born in the district. Other terms are applied to natives from other districts: for instance, Aborgines from farther east are called Wanmala, and those from the south-west Nunga (Nyungar)."[2]