'Up to $12,000 owing to Adnyamathanha girl': Grandmother

DETERMINED: Janette Milera has campaigned for six years for mining royalties for her grand-daughter. She has records on her phone and laptop of communications with the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.
DETERMINED: Janette Milera has campaigned for six years for mining royalties for her grand-daughter. She has records on her phone and laptop of communications with the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association.

Indigenous woman Janette Milera is caught between two worlds.

Smart as a whip, and adept with her mobile phone and laptop, she is fighting to bridge the gap between the ancient tribal lands of her forebears and the modern reality of mining royalties.

Ms Milera is waging a campaign on behalf of her teenage grand-daughter who she says is owed $10,000 to $12,000 in royalties by a fund linked to the Adnymathanha Traditional Lands Association.

The royalties flow to the tribal land-owners from an estimated $30-40 million payment so far by Beverley uranium mine in the outback under Native Title.

The Transcontinental is not suggesting any wrongdoing by the association.

Wearing a Ghostbusters long-sleeved top and with a cap and sunglasses perched on her head, Ms Milera, 50, may look unfashionable, but her grit and determination shine through.

"There should be some sort of Royal Commission or something into the way Native Title operates," she said.

She said Aboriginal people faced enough difficulties, without missing out on royalties. On behalf of her grand-daughter, she applied to the association in 2013 for payment of royalties, declaring that her grand-daughter had Adnyamathanha heritage and filling out a membership form for the corporation.

The association had replied that they would look into it.

"I kept asking what was happening with her royalties, whether they had sorted out her payments and whether my grand-daughter was owed back pay," she said.

"They said that if I was unhappy with the way they were dealing with her royalties, then I could transfer to another group.

"They had 1600 payments to release and were working on my grand-daughter's."

She said her last communication from the association was on August 13 and related to taxation issues, but there was no mention of payment of the royalties which she estimates have accrued up to $12,000 since 2013.

"I am frustrated considering all the emails saying they were going to sort it out for her," she said.

"We hoped she could use the money to set up her own little house or flat when she moves out. She could have everything. She is missing out."

Ms Milera, of Plympton Park, is an Arabunna woman who formerly lived in Port Augusta where she helped set up the local Community Development Employment Project, now Bungala Corporation. The association has been contacted for comment. The valuable royalties flow to the association from Heathgate Resources' Beverley uranium mine on Adnyamathanha land in the outback.

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