Regional Implementation Committee

“We think forward into the future and ask what we hope for our children’s children and their grandchildren.

We want to put in place now, things for the future.  We want a future to be one in which Ngarda Marlpa Ngarli of the Pilbara are recognised, respected, equal and strong. 

We want this for them so Ngarda Marlpa Ngarli of the Pilbara carry on our tradition through Land and Custom.”

The RIC Charter Vision

The Regional Implementation Committee (RIC) is a forum bringing together seven Pilbara Traditional Owner groups, including Banjima, Ngarlawangga, Ngarluma, Karlka Nyiyaparli, Puutu Kunti Kurrama Pinikura (PKKP),  Yindjibarndi and Yinhawangka, together with Rio Tinto, who have opted-in to the Regional Framework Deed (RFD).

The RFD is an agreement between Pilbara Traditional Owner opt-in groups and Rio Tinto that includes joint goals, commitments and implementation strategies for the 7 Regional Standards:

  1. Employment & Training;
  2. Business Development and Contracting;
  3. Land Access;
  4. Environmental Management;
  5. Cultural Heritage Management;
  6. Cultural Awareness Training; and
  7. Life of Mine Planning.

The RIC, as contemplated in the RFD, was formally established in 2016, with the aim of creating a regional forum to support the improvement of social and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal people, particularly Traditional Owners throughout the Pilbara.

The functions of the RIC are to:

  • Coordinate the implementation of the Employment and Training and Business Development Regional Standards;
  • Monitor and review the implementation of the Regional Standards and evaluate the success of each of the parties that have opted-in to the RFD;
  • Develop implementation plans to facilitate the efficient conduct of the RIC function;
  • Prepare reports for the opt-in groups and Rio Tinto on measures taken to perform its function and the results of its function;
  • Work with and provide direction and instruction to the Regional Aboriginal Corporation (RAC) (not yet established); and
  • Monitor, review and report to the opt-in groups and Rio Tinto on the RACs performance.

RIC representatives


May Byrne

Delvene Hicks

Karlka Nyiyaparli



Albert Pianta

Anthony Hubert


Dianne Walker

Arnold Lockyer

Janelle Mowarin (proxy)


Adrian Papertalk

Rehannan Chubby




Halloway Smirke

Rio Tinto

James Davison – GM Traditional Owner Partnerships

Josh Bennett – GM Greater Nammuldi

Paulo De Ponte – GM Cape Lambert

RIC Facilitation

Since 2019, the RIC meetings have been facilitated by independent facilitator, Daniela Tonon of Tonon Legal


The RIC Report

In 2017, the RIC commissioned Emeritus Professor John Taylor to complete an analysis on the change of baseline social indicators for the Pilbara that were established in the early 2000s, prior to the mining boom (Taylor and Scambary, 2005)

The purpose of the analysis was to provide quantitative data that outlined future needs and priorities for the Pilbara Aboriginal community and empowers the RIC in its strategic thinking and representation to Government, community organisation and industry as it seeks to advance social and economic development for Pilbara Aboriginal people.

The RIC Report was finalised in September 2018 and formally launched by the RIC on 7 November 2018 at an event held in Karratha, with representatives from Local Aboriginal Corporations, Local and State Government representatives, community organisation and Rio Tinto in attendance.

RIC Report – full
RIC report – highlights
RIC Report – key findings

Written Submissions made by the RIC to Federal and WA State Parliament

Submission to the Federal Inquiry into the Opportunities and Challenges of the Engagement of Traditional Owners in the Economic Development of Northern Australia, February 2019

Submission to the Federal Senate Select Committee on the effectiveness of the Australian Government’s Northern Australia agenda, September 2019

Submission to the WA Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill 2020

RIC members at work