Dear Brothers and Sisters,

While we mourn the passing of our great elder, Ned Mayaringbungu Cheedy, the Cheedy family and Yindjibarndi elders want the life and example of Mayaringbungu to be celebrated and remembered. From Mayaringbungu we learn about being straight with our country and our spirit—his story is one that offers something beautiful and strong to our young people.

Two videos celebrating Mayaringbungu’s life and work have been produced by Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation of Roebourne.

1. Mayaringbungu a beautiful mind
Is a collection of songs, stories and country featuring Mayaringbungu, drawn from the archives of Juluwarlu. Like a treasure, he gifted to us the knowledge of our ancestors. This film opens a small window into the miracle of Ned’s vast knowledge of Yindjibarndi history and culture—a taste of one hundred years of knowledge… which carries us into the wirdard [spirit, feelings, heart] of the old people.

2. When The Ground Is Hard, Yindjibarndi Dance
Shows traditional Yindjibarndi Jalurra (dance songs) and Ngurnda (dances) performed at Cheeditha Community by our men, women and children, after Mayaringbungu was honoured with the 2011 national NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award. Every time we perform Jalurra we renew the physical and spiritual connection of today’s generation with our Yindjibarndi country and all previous generations.

Mayaringbungu was the greatest champion of, and remains the inspiration for the Yindjibarndi fight against the aggressive divide and conquer attack of iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), which is destroying our ngurra for mining—without our consent! FMG refuses to pay fair compensation to Aboriginal Traditional Owners whose country and heritage they obliterate. They want cheap access to our land so they can fulfil their “Vision & Values” of frugality, and their aim to be “The lowest cost, most profitable iron ore producer.”

We will not be tricked or bullied into selling out our future. Mayaringbungu told us to defend our dignity against such greed; and that our nation will survive long after iron ore is finished.
Out of respect for Ned Cheedy and all our elders, the responsibility now falls on our generation to carry forward their wishes, example and dreams. It is our sacred obligation to work hard to provide shelter and a sense of belonging to Yindjibarndi—so that our nation, ngurra and Law survives and thrives!

Rest In Peace juju… thank you for sharing your spirit and knowledge with us.

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