Dear Premier McGowan,
As a Traditional Owner and custodian of Malgana country I would like to welcome the new Government at the opening of the 40th WA Parliament, and to welcome you, our new Premier, to this important responsibility.
Gatharagudu, Shark Bay, is special both to Malgana people and to many more who come to visit and live in this country. Today, I want to share something very special to Malgana culture.
I invite you to listen to this song, Yandani Gatharagudu, which is a Malgana Welcome song, sung by Malgana singers, Thudarru Nyinadi (Song Birds) for the Dirk Hartog celebrations in October last year.
My country is very harsh at times, but can also be very nurturing. It is an environment that if you look after it, it will look after you. If you care for this country, you will feel the benefits physically and spiritually. When you care for Gatharagudu country you become family to the country.
Caring for this country is a big responsibility that we have passed on for countless generations in my family and address at continuous points in our lives.
Responsibility can also bring opportunity. The Create Ranger Parks proposal is an opportunity to connect people to our traditional country, and to protect the natural and cultural heritage that matters to all Western Australians.
For my people, creating Ranger Parks would mean Malgana rangers could work on and care for Malgana country, and that everyone could have the chance to visit and experience the place that I call home.
I would like to wish your government all the best and encourage you to listen to our people and our country as guides to caring for the environment.
Traditional custodian of Malgana country
Images: the former Carrarang Station, on Malgana country in Shark Bay