Martulu Palyalu: Strong Country, Strong Culture’


In 2017 BHP Billiton announced ‘Martulu Palyalu: Strong Country, Strong Culture’, a new, five year partnership with Indigenous organisation Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) and the Martu people of the Western Desert region in WA.

The partnership forms the latest chapter of a 10-year long relationship between BHP Billiton and KJ that is delivering transformational cultural, social and environmental outcomes for Martu people. 

“BHP Billiton has been working with KJ and the Martu people for over a decade to deliver on-country social, cultural and land conservation programs across the Western Desert area of WA, and adjacent to our iron ore operations” BHP Billiton Asset President Western Australia Iron Ore, Edgar Bastosaid.

This innovative corporate partnership with BHP Billiton, KJ, the Australian Government Ranger program and World Vision Australia has resulted in significant returns for Martu and their country. A recent social return on investment survey found that for every $1 invested $3 is returned in significant social, cultural and economic benefits on top of the impressive environmental benefits.

KJ Director, Peter Johnson, said “BHP Billiton’s long term support has been critical to Martu transforming the lives of their communities and building pathways to a strong future on their country.  BHP Billiton has supported an innovative model of social and environmental investment – focused, long-term and strategic.  Importantly, it has recognised that helping Martu to access and look after their country is the key to landscape-scale, long-term environmental outcomes.  This supports Martu cultural aspirations and delivers benefits to the whole Australian community.  The vision, thoughtfulness and generosity of BHP Billiton managers have been remarkable throughout the 10 year relationship.  KJ could not hope for a better partner.”

 “We are extremely proud that this partnership is making a real difference to the lives of the Martu people. What started as a smallgrass roots project ten years ago has evolved into a nationally significant cultural and conservation program with transformational social and economic outcomes for the Martu people” Mr Basto said.