New Noongar Regional Corporations sign onto South West Settlement Agreement

  • Six new Noongar Regional Corporations appointed to represent their communities under the South West Settlement (Settlement)
  • Historic partnership between the WA Government and the Noongar Regional Corporations formally commences through Deeds of Novation
  • The Settlement will continue to support Noongar empowerment and deliver long-term economic, social, and cultural outcomes
  • A significant milestone has been reached today between the Western Australian Government and six newly appointed Noongar Regional Corporations under the South West Native Title Settlement (Settlement).

    Noongar representatives and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti have signed six Deeds of Novation to formalise the role of the Noongar Regional Corporations (Regional Corporations) as parties to the six Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) that comprise the Settlement.

    The Settlement is the most comprehensive native title agreement in Australian history, covering around 200,000 square kilometres of the South-West region in WA.

    The six Regional Corporations will work with the six Noongar Agreement Groups recognised under the Settlement to benefit, advance, and promote their rights and interests.

    The historic partnership builds on earlier milestones from 2022, including the appointment of Regional Corporation Boards and members of Cultural Advice Committees – comprising of Noongar Elders – to guide each Corporation in their cultural decision making, and the endorsement of the Regional Corporations by the WA Government and their formal appointment by the Noongar Boodja Trust (Trust).

    In June 2022, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) was also appointed by the Trust as the Settlement’s Central Services Corporation (CSC). The CSC will provide financial, administrative, and corporate services support to the Regional Corporations, and bring them together regularly through a Noongar Corporations Committee.

    The Trust commenced in March 2021, and two annual State payments – totalling $123 million – have been made to the Trust to support the Regional Corporations and CSC operations and build a Noongar Future Fund. There are 10 further payments still to be made. The return of up to 320,000 hectares of Noongar lands to the Trust began in July 2021.

    Significant and enduring partnership arrangements and benefits will commence once the Regional Corporations are fully operational, including in relation to the conservation estate, Aboriginal heritage, housing, community development, and economic participation.

    As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:

    “I am delighted that all Regional Corporations are now endorsed by the WA Government and appointed by the Noongar Boodja Trust to represent the Noongar Nation under the Settlement.

    “I congratulate the Regional Corporation Directors – as well as their Cultural Advice Committee members – who will be pivotal in representing their communities and voicing their aspirations and goals.

    “I also congratulate SWALSC in becoming the Central Services Corporation, and for their dedication and sustained efforts in supporting the six Noongar Agreement Groups to establish their corporations.

    “I am pleased to have met with the new Noongar Regional Corporation Directors to extend my personal congratulations, and to co-sign Deeds of Novation that signify the commencement of our partnership.

    “The WA Government is committed to building strong partnerships with the Regional Corporations to maximise the opportunities the Settlement provides, and benefit future Noongar generations.

    “I look forward to seeing further progress on the Settlement to further support the self-determination of all Noongar people.”

    As stated by South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council Chief Executive Officer Ed Armstrong:

    “The SWALSC – as one of the parties to the six ILUA’s – have worked extensively and in collaboration with the six agreement groups across Noongar Boodja to enable the successful appointment of Regional Corporations by both the State and the Noongar Boodja Trust.

    “This historic milestone sees the Regional Corporations now replace the Representative Parties as the party to the ILUA, and we take this opportunity to reflect, acknowledge the sacrifice, and sincerely thank all in the Noongar community who worked tirelessly on the Settlement that has taken more than two decades to get to where we are today.

    “The Regional Corporations now have members, boards of directors, and cultural advice committees that are in place and operational. The next stage of establishment is the commencement of CEO’s, employment of workforce, office establishment, and more importantly delivering benefits of the Settlement to Noongar community.

    “With the signing of these deeds to the Regional Corporations, we can now progress with important future work, that includes land transfers and management, promoting culture, improving economic and social outcomes, and advocating for a strong, unified Noongar nation.”

    Ministers office – 6552 6400

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