Wednesday, January 25, 2006



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*Attn: News Editors, Political, Indigenous & Environment Reporters*

Kokatha women with traditional associations to the Yellabinna region will be meeting with the Minister of the Aboriginal Affairs Department at 10:00am Monday April 18^th , to appeal for help in further protection of the culturally important Yellabinna area including Yumbarra and Pureba Conservation Park. During the meeting they will be presenting him with a community-produced dot painting designed by a young Kokatha woman, Colleen Haseldine.

The meeting will highlight the community's support for an extension to the proposed Wilderness Protection Area/ for the Yellabinna region located north of Ceduna, the largest stretch of mallee wilderness in the world. Yellabinna is culturally significant and holds a richness of nature which is awe-inspiring. It is an area that holds deep significance for the local aboriginal people. Much of the traditional local culture is based on a deep connection with the land and its various formations. These sacred sites connect their dreaming stories.

"Total protection, no mining, controlled tourism for the whole of the area of Yellabinna, Yumbarra and Purbea. Our traditional tucker, medicine and sacred sites are out there. It's the last safe place for them. Without the extension of the protection area to include the whole area, this cultural heritage will be lost/." claimed Sue Haseldine, who traveled down from the state's far West coast for the meeting along with another Kokatha woman, Sheena Coleman, to make the presentation.

"The time has come for us to take care of the land, when the land is destroyed, there will be nothing. The land is part of our soul. We have to take responsibility to preserve and maintain the environment, because our future is reliant upon what the land produces. If we don't respect the land then it will not produce. Bush medicine, bush tucker and being able to practice our culture have economic values which are immeasurable." Added Sheena Coleman


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