AMYAC - Members 1st Newsletter Nov 2022

Message from the AMYAC Board

Welcome to the first newsletter from the AMYAC Board. In this first issue we discuss RNTBC News, provide an update from the AMYAC Directors, Community News, AMYAC Group News, New Initiatives and Coming Events and Important dates.


Directors Update.

It has been a year of growth and consolidation for the AMYAC board, we have purchased our first office in Coober Pedy, we have appointed our first CEO and our board has had a change of membership and continue to function well together for the good of our members. AMYAC still have a long journey ahead as we continue to build our presence in Coober Pedy and continue to grow our organisation. Some of our challenges include balancing what we want to do, with what is sustainable to do, and being responsive to the needs of our members and the broader community. 

New Coober Pedy AMYAC Office

At the front of the new AMYAC Building –  L-R Jonathan Fatt-Cliffton, Anthony Russell, Samantha Hayes, Jane Khan, Reade Allisonn, Sian Davies, Maureen Williams, Jess Smith and Chris Waye.

On the 23rd of June this year, the Antakarinja Matu – Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal Corporation (AMYAC) celebrated a key milestone, the purchase of their member’s very own building.

It is situated at lot 715 Hutchison Street, Coober Pedy. Also known locally as the Centrelink building.

This has been a long time coming for AMYAC members, and brings to close that journey, but in doing so opens a new doorway to the future. It is with great happiness that we announce that their wishes have now been met.

The occasion was marked by holding a community BBQ on the night of 23rd of June at the front of the new building. AMYAC’s Chairperson thanked everyone in attendance and acknowledged the Lucas family whom sold the building to AMYAC and talked about how the Lucas family have been an integral part of the Coober Pedy Community. The event was attended by over 50 people, and it was great to see so many young members of the community at the opening, the new office is something everyone can take great pride in and may it be a lasting symbol of hope and strength well into the future.

Community News

NAIDOC in Coober Pedy

NAIDOC week is a time for celebrating the achievements of Aboriginal people and coming together as a community. This year’s theme was “Get Up!, Stand Up!, Show Up!”.

AMYAC was very proud to sponsor the NAIDOC event held at the Umoona Basketball Stadium. The event was well attended, with local service provider stalls, face painting and a painting competition for the kids. The were prizes and gifts for the kids and a BBQ lunch that included kangaroo tails.

Dawn Brown was the event co-ordinator and did a fantastic job and the event was a real credit to her. Dawn is a very passionate and community minded person and it shows in her work. Well done Dawn and the Umoona Council and Community.

1.Dawn Brown, Umoona NAIDOC event  2022.

2.The kids celebrating NAIDOC with activities Umoona Community July 2022

New AMYAC Community Action Group

The AMYAC Board called for expressions of interest from AMYAC members to establish an AMYAC Community Action Group in Coober Pedy to work closely with the CEO and the AMYAC board to support AMYAC’s engagement with community activities. The action group will provide advice to the CEO and the board on:

  • Advise on member’s cultural and community goals for Coober Pedy; and
  • Advise how AMYAC can “do the doing” to achieve member’s goals community-based events and programs in and around Coober Pedy

There will be up to eight action group members, plus the CEO at any given time, including:

  • Three AMYAC members residing in Coober Pedy
  • Three AMYAC directors residing in Coober Pedy, and
  • Two other Coober Pedy community members

AMYAC Appoints it first CEO

The AMYAC board appointed its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Michael Coughlan on 1st of February 2022. Michael is a Peramangk and Ngarrindjeri man with over 30 years experience working in Aboriginal Community Development and Management roles.  Michael has been a former Director of the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in SA, has held various senior management roles in private industry and public sector, holds an MBA and a Masters of Aboriginal Studies and his key strengths are in stakeholder relations, governance, policy, advocacy and human rights. Since joining AMYAC Michael has been quietly going about implementing some of AMYAC’s key strategic goals, such as setting up an AMAYC Office in Coober Pedy, building up a corporate presence, developing policies, and assisting the board of directors with advice and planning. Michael relocated to Coober Pedy and has been gradually getting to know the community and its members.

The AMYAC’s CEO is located within the Business Centre of the building at 153 (Lot &715) Hutchison Street, Coober Pedy and can be contacted on 0497 717 610, or via email at

Assistance for members at the office includes, but not limited to general enquiries regarding the corporation and assistance with AMYAC Trust applications.

AMYAC Group News

AMY Nominees Updates

Antakirinja Matu Yankunytjatjara Nominees (AMYN) has been successful over an eight-year period building successful relationships with large to medium companies, regionally and within the state. Through its landmark waste management services at Prominent Hill, Anangu Mining labour hire activities, and the investment in the first Indigenous owned Crane hire business, AMYN has the enviable position of being sourced by leading Tier 1 companies to explore further opportunities. AMYN is constantly looking for Expressions of Interest from AMY members and Aboriginal people to fulfill our employment and training objectives, to ensure we can deliver project performance outcomes. We can provide opportunities in underground mining, village and catering services, waste management and crane operations. If these are interest to you, contact AMYN directly or through our website. 


The Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park has been impacted significantly by recent rain events. The Kanku-Breakaways team have been working hard to ensure the safety of visitors and protection of the parks roads through targeted road closures. This prevents both people getting stuck and also stops the roads from being damaged due to driving through mud.

Key focuses for the Kanku-Breakaways over the coming months are:, Physical survey of proposed infrastructure sites to get ready for detailed planning, Weed control following rain, particularly where people have driven off track, Biodiversity survey of flora and fauna, Upgrading of signage at the dog fence, Community workshops to identify the information people would like presented on new signs throughout the park, and Planning the 2023 Great Kanku-Breakaways Marathon

 If you have any questions about the park please contact a member of the Kanku-Breakaways team, Shontelle Lennon, Jonathon Fatt-Clifton, Allan Taylor, Chevahn Hoad

Projects and Initiatives

In October this year the full board were hosted by Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) to visit a number of historic exploration drill sites near Coober Pedy that were conducted in the 1990’s . The objectives of the site visit was firstly so both parties could assess the rehabilitation of the sites, and also as a relationship building exercise. On both fronts the visit was a success. Some sites could not actually be found or distinguished from the normal landscape, such was the success of the rehabilitation, in other locations a peg was the only way to tell there was previous drilling activity. RTX were genuinely engaging and the board noted that they have set a high bench mark for other companies to live up to regarding relationships.

The board were also involved in site visits to Peak Iron’s sites, Peculiar Knob Mine, Windy Valley Camp and Buzzard Mine. The main object was for the board to undertake an overview of operations, to join with the Peak Iron board in a cultural cook up and smoking ceremony provided by AMYAC and assisted by Peak Iron employees. The cook up and smoking ceremony was attended by about 80 employees, contractors, Peak Iron Board members and Dept of Defence personnel. The evening was a huge success and a testament to the hard work of Maria Fantasia, Peak Iron’s Community Engagement Officer, also known affectionately as the Time Traveller because she seems to be everywhere 😊

AMYAC are in the process of purchasing a new light truck to provide a no cost freight service for community members from Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Adelaide, and back to Coober Pedy. This service is predicted to be available to members by mid to late 2023. Members will be able to co-ordinate the service via the AMYAC ICT Trust services and the AMYAC Coober Pedy Office. AMYAC Coober Pedy office is also establishing a link between job ready AMYAC members and various mining companies, while exploring how to assist job seekers to become job ready.

Coming Events or Important Dates

The next AGM will be held in Coober Pedy on from 16th to 18th of November. This year, there will be a mobile dialysis team in attendance, and members may pre-book their dialysis prior to arriving. This will ensure members who normally might miss the AGM can now attend.

For further information contact Michael Pagjansan on (08) 7721 1690, or or

Michael Coughlan,  on 0497 717 610, or

To receive an electronic copy of this newsletter, please email

Yours sincerely,

The AMYAC Board

AMYAC member key contacts:

Contact details:How can they help?
Perpetual Trustee – Trust(08) 8349 0830 financial assistance.
AMY Nominees0438 681 123 employment assistance.
MPS Law(08) 7221 1690 For legal enquiries to do with AMYAC.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments