Yinhawangka People and Rio Tinto partner to co-design ‘Living Cultures Program’

08 April 2024

PERTH, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation and Rio Tinto have collaborated to design a new program aimed at protecting and preserving Yinhawangka culture and supporting a strong, healthy and connected Yinhawangka People.

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The ‘Living Cultures Program’ will deliver projects to record, preserve and transfer cultural knowledge. This includes language, living history and heritage, women’s business, arts and culture, songlines and traditional stories.

The partnership also aims to increase local economic development opportunities, improve social and emotional wellbeing for community, enhance cultural land management by Yinhawangka and develop and deliver cultural awareness training. These programs will provide a range of opportunities for Yinhawangka People to develop new skills and provide employment opportunities.

Rio Tinto will provide $9.5 million to the ‘Living Cultures Program’ over six years.

Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation Chair, Lorraine Injie said "Firstly, let me acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the Yinhawangka people and Rio Tinto in bringing to life this Living Cultures Project. The preservation, maintenance and protection of our lived history, cultural knowledge of Country and providing programs and activities will support and assist us towards a better future.

“This project brings an opportunity for changing the way in which Aboriginal programs are conceptualised, planned, and implemented. The Living Cultures project aims to take back Yinhawangka people’s control of our knowledge and travel further on our journey as Traditional Owners of our land and in improving social and economic outcomes for our people.

“I look forward to furthering the close working partnership between Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation and Rio Tinto. I am very grateful to them for sharing our vision for a better future for our children and the preservation of Yinhawangka people’s history and culture, where our story and songs, carried down by our old people throughout time, are remembered and revered.”

Rio Tinto Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment and Communities Cecile Thaxter said “The Living Cultures Program is the result of strong collaboration between the Yinhawangka People and Rio Tinto.

“Together we are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the culture, people, and Country of the Yinhawangka People through programs that promote positive, intergenerational outcomes.

“We are in a world where ancient and precious cultural heritage is at risk of being lost forever but through this program, we have a unique opportunity to work together to protect and preserve the Yinhawangka People’s culture.”

Note to the editor

Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation and Rio Tinto have also co-designed the Western Range mining project and jointly developed a Social and Cultural Heritage Management Plan. Western Range is Rio Tinto’s first co-designed mine. More information is available here.

Please direct all Rio Tinto enquiries to media.enquiries@riotinto.com

Please direct all Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation enquiries to Anthony Beven, project manager 0419 218 518.

Media Relations
Alyesha Anderson
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Category: General

Source: Rio Tinto