Building resilience and inspiring others in the Goldfields

“Minga Milku means ‘song ant’ in my language. It carries a lot of meaning to me because our stories are told through song, stories which need to be sung throughout the rest of time to tell the story of our traditional people.

“And ants are hardworking. They lift weight which far exceeds them, they work hard in the community and are resilient. This is what Minga Milku represents.” 

Jamie Hunt is a proud Tjupan (Western Desert) and Yamatji (Midwest Coast) man, and a Traditional Owner from Tjiwarl country in the northern Goldfields and the founder of Minga Milku.

After 10 years working as an electrician at BHP sites and other companies around Western Australia, Jamie started his own business – Minga Milku – which has recently won a big job fitting out the new accommodation rooms at Mt Keith Operation with televisions, signage, rugs and bespoke Tjiwarl artwork for every room, as part of BHP’s commitment to increasing Traditional Owner and Indigenous procurement opportunities.

“I want to make a difference to my community and operate my own business. I feel proud to have won this work as it’s the first step into BHP and gives me the opportunity to tell our story to people that live and work on Tjiwarl country.”

Jamie’s sister Nikita is the talented artist who is supplying 100 hand-painted unique artworks to be hung in every room for BHP employees and contractors.

“I have enjoyed painting all my life,” explained Nikita.

“I feel connected to Tjiwarl country as this is ‘home’ for people I love. It has sustained life and provided the necessities for past and future generations.

“My work is inspired by stories passed down from my father and the life inhabiting this beautiful land. This project was exciting because it was a challenge. It enabled me to enhance my creativity by focusing on producing work in a small amount of time. It has taught me how to find inspiration in everyday situations. I have also learnt more about the land around Mt Keith and I have been inspired by my visits to the Goldfields,” said Nikita.   

Congratulations Jamie and Nikita on delivering this exciting opportunity for BHP Nickel West!