Equity Trustees, incorporating Australian Executor Trustees (AET), is deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Mr M Parker, the highly-respected Pilbara Elder and former chairman of the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (BNTAC). AET has proudly been the trustee for the Banjima Native Title Trust since 2014. Our native title team have built close relationships with Mr Parker over this time, and are currently providing support to the family and community.
Mr Parker was a remarkable leader, highly talented at building relationships and fearless about fighting for the rights of his people, community, culture, and country. He played a critical role in helping the Traditional Owners reach agreements in the 2000s with Rio Tinto and BHP, which mine on Banjima Ngurrarra (country), and assisting the Banjima people achieve native title recognition over their traditional lands in 2014.
When he was not engaged in advocacy work - which included tirelessly raising cultural heritage and royalty payment issues with government, and working with mining companies on their practices for preserving cultural heritage as well as creating job opportunities for his people - Mr Parker was a noted cultural champion, sharing his traditional knowledge at the Karijini Experience held in the Pilbara annually.
Diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016 after exposure to asbestos at Wittenoom, Mr Parker championed justice for the land, people and communities affected by the asbestos mine. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie and three daughters, and a community deep in mourning. His first name has been omitted from this article for cultural reasons.
Read more about Mr Parker in this National Indigenous Times article