Practical Justice Initiative Indigenous Lecture Series: Peter Yu
22 November 2017, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Theatre A, Colombo House Theatres, UNSW Kensington Campus
Peter Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Nyamba Buru Yawuru
Transformational Development and Indigenous Modernity: The Yawuru Experience
Australia is at a historic cross road. With the nation’s political system embedded in failure to advance Indigenous constitutional recognition and to close the appalling socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, there is a growing ground swell in mainstream Australia to change the policy framework that shames our nation.
Peter Yu will draw on the example of the Yawuru community who asserted and won their native title rights in a bitter court contest and have embarked on a bold agenda to transform the legacy of colonialism. He will detail the philosophy of Mabu Liyan (positive wellbeing) where Yawuru and other Indigenous people in the Broome region are growing their capacity and resilience through rebuilding the Yawuru nation by revitalising language, culture and social values. From this strength-based approach Yawuru are generating community wealth by creating a new economy that could not have been imagined before native title was recognised. As the Yawuru middle class grows so too does the resurgence of Yawuru culture and language and Yawuru’s reconnection with their traditional country.
The Yawuru example highlights the potential for Indigenous peoples to be recognised and included in Australian nationhood through a national treaty or agreement making framework.
Peter Yu is a Yawuru Man from Broome in the Kimberley region in North West Australia with over 35 years’ experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley and at the state, national and international level. He was Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council during the 1990s and was a member of the Indigenous group negotiating the Australian nation's response to the High Court's 1992 Mabo decision. Peter was a key negotiator in the landmark Yawuru Native Title global negotiations between the WA State Government and the Shire of Broome and is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Nyamba Buru Yawuru. He is a Chair of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA Ltd), Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of Broome Future Ltd, a Trustee of the Princes Trust Australia (PTA) and Council Member of the Australian National University (ANU).