governor walks with man as group follows behind on country trail
Murujuga National Park, Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and Peter Jefferies

Governor tours Karratha, Roebourne and Port Hedland for Pilbara regional visit

The Governor recently completed a four day tour of the Pilbara (Saturday, 20th July to Tuesday, 23rd July 2019) as part of his Regional Visit Program.

This was the Governor’s fifth regional visit. Previous trips include Kalgoorlie-Boulder in May, Bunbury and Greenbushes in April, and the East Kimberley and Albany last year.

During the visit, the Governor met with representatives in the City of Karratha, the Town of Port Hedland, Yindjibarndi and Murujuga Aboriginal corporations, industry and business groups and attended community receptions in Karratha and Port Hedland.

“Part of my job is to see everybody in this State that I can; to look at the work that they’re doing, and to see in what ways I can encourage that work through discussions with Government and other leaders and the community more broadly.

One of the biggest changes I have seen in the Pilbara since I was here last is a new and profound respect for Indigenous people. The emergence of powerful Indigenous organisations, a focus on culture and pride in that culture.

Projects like the transformation of the old Victoria Hotel in Roebourne into the new Ganalili Centre were particularly encouraging. Purchased by the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in 2013, it is now a cultural and commercial hub promoting knowledge of the Yindjibarndi culture and traditions. It’s not itself a stand-alone centre, there are a whole range of buildings in the area that all serve the function of providing opportunities for education, training, culture, tourism, the arts, and dignity – a sense of ownership and belonging. A headquarters statement to the rest of the world about what the Indigenous people of this area represent, their cultural strength and economic potential.

The Pilbara generally is, in terms of our natural exports, the key centre. We identify the Pilbara with contemporary industry, associated commonly with iron ore.

But here in the North are also the minerals of the future, the lithium and rare earths critical for battery and permanent magnet technologies that underpin future and green industries.

This demands national reflection on the centrality of the place in terms ranging from social and educational needs, through to defence. The approaches to our North West are the most critical of our national security approaches.”

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia


Radio interviews with:

ABC Pilbara – Part one (starts at 37 mins 18 sec), Part two (starts at 13 mins, 54 sec)

Spirit Radio Karratha (external link)

Ngaarda Media (external link)


Saturday, 20th July 2019

Cossack Art Awards

Officially opened the Awards – the richest acquisitive art awards in regional Australia, now in their 27th year.

Sunday, 21st July 2019

Radio interview with ABC Pilbara

Part one (scroll to 37 mins 18 sec), Part two (scroll to 13 mins, 54 sec)

Breakfast briefing with City of Karratha

Update on projects and opportunities from Mayor Peter Long and City of Karratha Councillors.

Community morning tea at Karratha RSL Hall

Hosted by Kevin Michel MLA. Meet and greet with community volunteer organisations, including local members of the Governor’s patronage organisations – St John Ambulance, Leadership WA, RAJWA Pilbara Chapter (Justices of the Peace).

Tour of new Ganalili Centre, followed by lunch at Juluwarlu Language and Cultural Centre

Meeting with members of the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and community at the new Ganalili Centre (formerly the Victoria Hotel) in Roebourne – a new cultural and commercial hub promoting knowledge of the Yindjibarndi culture and traditions.

Yaandina Residential Aged Care

Tour of facility and meet and greet with residents and staff.

Monday, 22nd July 2019

Murujuga National Park visit

Meeting with Murujuga Land and Sea Unit at Murujuga National Park and briefing with CEO of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation Mr Peter Jeffries, including viewing of rock art at Deep Gorge.

Meeting with Woodside Energy

Briefing and tour of Karratha Gas Plant with Peter Coleman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and Meg O’Neill, Executive Vice president and Chief Operations Officer, Woodside Energy Ltd.

Meeting with Yara Pilbara

Briefing and tour with Chris Rijksen, General Manager, Yara Pilbara and staff.

Official reopening of Gratwick Hall

Town of Port Hedland civic reception and official rededication of Gratwick Hall – a new central hub of community activity.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019

Briefing with Town of Port Hedland

Meeting with Mr David Pentz, Chief Executive Officer, Town of Port Hedland and team at the Council Chambers.

WEB Business Hub presentations

Small business and innovation briefings at the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Harbour industry tour

Visit to Port Hedland Seafarers’ Centre and harbour boat tour.

Clontarf Academy

Meet and greet with staff and students at Clontarf Academy, South Hedland Senior High School. The Clontarf Foundation is one of the Governor’s many patronage organisations.

Photo gallery

Click on the images to view captions and enlarge

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