Miliya Barrgana buru yirr walgawalga yinamburndan.

It’s Dry Season and salmon are biting.


Wanggajarli Burugun

(We are coming home)

In May a delegation of Yawuru and Karajarri people traveled from Broome to Europe to bring home the remains of ancestors who had been kept in museums and institutions in Germany. It was an emotional journey and it represents a major milestone in the return of our people to their own country and a step along the journey to a more reconciled community.

Yawuru representatives Di Appleby, Neil McKenzie, Azroum McKenzie, Naomi Appleby and Sarah Yu travelled with Karajarri man Wynston Shoveller-Sesar via London to Germany. The journey was instigated by the Department of Communication and the Arts (DCA) ‘Return, Reconcile, Renew’ program and David Puertollano travelled with the government delegation and met them in Berlin.

“It was a significant journey, and before we went we thought a lot about how it would feel and what we would do.” said Di Appleby “We took gungura and performed smoking and other ceremony for them over there, and a when we finished we felt satisfied that we can bring those old people home.”

Upon arrival in Perth the ancestors were welcomed by Yawuru and Karajarri elders and the Noongar community. It was heartening to see so many community members join us for a moving ceremony at the WA Museum site with performances, speeches and a feed to celebrate the return.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project, including the State collections of Saxony in Germany who reached out to us to ensure these returns could be achieved. The Shire of Broome, the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet, DCA, Wesfarmers, and the Department of Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

The next stage of this important project is to bring home other ancestors and to develop a permanent memorial and Resting Place in Broome. The Resting Place will honour the people who were lost during the Colonial era of the pearling and pastoral industries and share the stories of those who were blackbirded, enslaved and whose bones were sold as museum specimens. This place will be a healing site that will share our unique Broome stories and will encourage dialogue and reconciliation with the community. Until that place is constructed the ancestors will remain in Perth.



Ngaji gurrjin,

We’ve had some big events locally and also nationally. Not least is the Federal election and we congratulate Ken Wyatt on his accession to the role of Minister for Indigenous Australians, the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to Cabinet in this role. A National Indigenous Australian Agency has been created which will focus on the practical priorities and policy development to improve the lives of Indigenous people. It’s a challenging portfolio but we look forward to working constructively on major issues including Constitutional recognition and reconciliation.

I had the honour of being the Keynote speaker at Reconciliation Tasmania’s events just after the election and there is a great deal of drive towards resolving the major questions of recognition and the Uluru Statement. I have also given a keynote address at The Lowitja Institute’s International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference in Darwin: you can read it here. Highlighting the importance of empowerment, connection and co-design with meaningful engagement to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. We urge the government to work collaboratively with us for a future that we can all be part of.

Back home in Broome, the repatriation of our ancestors’ remains has been a major milestone and we are working on the ultimate aim of the project, which is to establish a permanent memorial site. We thank the Shire of Broome for dedicating an area of land near the cemetery and we envisage the site as a healing place that will advance the concept of reconciliation for our community.

At NBY we are all looking forward to officially opening the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Wellbeing Centre, which has become a busy hub for our programs and staff, as well as additional activity at the function centre. Mornings at the Mabu Mayi Café are a great way to start the day with a coffee and a catch up.



Looking after country

Mabu Buru means ‘healthy country’ and we can help by changing the way we dispose of waste. A Local Government Waste Forum hosted by the Shire of Broome highlighted local needs and programs that improve waste management. The Shire is developing a Regional Resource Recovery Park (RRRP) site on Yawuru country that will improve recycling, recovery and waste management, but in the meantime, NBY is doing its bit. Led by the Environmental Services team, NBY has been more conscious of recycling, has reduced plastic use and started an organics bin that can be composted or fed to chickens.

Fire work

Barrgana is the fire season in Broome area and NBY’s Environmental Services team works with Roebuck Plains Station and senior lore bosses on prescribed burns on Yawuru country. This year the team received a grant from the National Landcare Program which enabled the Yawuru Country Managers to successfully implement burns over 20,000 ha in long unburnt portions of the IPA just outside of Broome.

These low-intensity cool season burns help to protect the town of Broome from catastrophic large-scale fires later in the year. These burns also promote biodiversity; by creating a mosaic of different fire ages across the landscape, species like the bilby and spectacled hare-wallaby can feed on young plant shoots in recently burnt areas or find thick cover to hide from predators in areas long unburnt.

To increase our fire management capacity, Yawuru Country Managers Mon Edgar, Musariah Banks and Ron Wade recently joined a group of regional rangers and the KLC up the Dampier Peninsula on Bardi Jawi country to complete their Cert II in fire training through North Regional TAFE. The Women Country Managers can now assist the Wamba (men) Country Managers on the prescribed burnings this season.

The Shorebird Quest

The production of ‘The Shorebird Quest’ was a spectacular community event at Town Beach, produced by Theatre Kimberley and the Broome Bird Observatory. The giant puppets and live music were a uniquely entertaining way to share the story of the thousands of shorebirds who make the annual journey from the Arctic to the RAMSAR listed shores of Roebuck Bay on Yawuru country.

The Country Managers worked with the producers to develop the storyline and characters with the Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga Centre, who worked on the interpretation and translation of the script in its formative stages. Country Manager Ed Maher took his involvement to the next level by becoming a puppeteer for the main character, Curtis the Curlew. “We work on country and see these birds all the time, but this project gave me a whole new insight into their lives on the Bay. I’ve never done anything like that before and it was amazing to be part of it with about 200 other performers on the night. I’m really pleased it’s had such a big impact.” Ed said after event.

To continue the story, the soundtrack featuring original music will be released, including some classics translated into Yawuru language such as ‘Fishing’ by Michael Manolis. You can support the music project here.


The Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Centre

The new function centre has been busy, hosting over 400 people in May for a range of events and conferences, including the 2019 Jawun emerging leaders program. Executives joined Amara Barnes (Wiradjuri), Arian Pearson, Renee Williams (Bindal/Juru/Wakka Wakka/Mer andErub Islands) and Travis Morgan (Yorta Yorta/Wemba Wemba) to see how enterprise and economic development is leading to empowerment. They will have a Cultural Immersion and presentations on the Yawuru social context, community development and mabu liyan before visiting communities to see emerging social enterprises.

The Mabu Mayi cafe has come to life with coffees made every morning by our trainee baristas who are adding a Yawuru touch to the coffee with their cacao walga walga. Mabu Mayi is also offering training to some of the Transition to Work participants and the positions of Chef and Barista are now filled and the café will officially be open to the public on July 1st.

Youth advocacy on the national stage

Bianca Graham, NBY’s Youth Engagement Officer, has been busy with national commitments after having been selected to join the Headspace “hY NRG” national youth reference group. After being recommended by Headspace in Broome, Bianca went through an interview process to be selected as the Western Australian representative and was nominated as the Indigenous representative as well. The group advocates for youth mental health and assists with co-design of Headspace programs.

hY NRG held its first meeting in Melbourne and Bianca met the other members of the group. “They’re all young but they’ve all got lived experience. Their opinions are fresh and they’re all very passionate” Bianca said. She is honoured to be part of the program and said “I can bring a unique perspective because the Kimberley is a region that‘s been touched by many difficult issues. It’s important because we’ve been asking to be heard, and now we have a seat a table and we can have a say”.

Bianca has also been to Brisbane with the Healing Foundation to attend the Youth Intergenerational Trauma Yarning Circle. The work followed up the 2017 report ‘Our Healing Our Way’ report with a full day of working on co-designed resources for dealing with intergenerational trauma and tackling other underlying issues that prevent people from thriving and living their best life.

Work and Training

NBY’s Transition to Work (TTW) team is proud to see their young participants achieving their goals in a range of areas. A recent forum for TTW providers was held by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. It was shown at the forum that the NBY team has blitzed its benchmarks and was highlighted as a stand out service that delivers real results for young Indigenous people, who comprise about 90% of its participants.

Meanwhile, the first group of participants have started the Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work) Program. They are half way through a TAFE course ‘Gaining Access to Employment & Training’, and working on a project to demonstrate their employability skills. They have also been busy on country preparing the site at Gubunyanya for NBY’s Kullarri NAIDOC event in July.

Warrmijala Murrgurlayi is a Sustainable Employment program supported by Shell Australia to help young people to reach their employment goals and secure their future. The 10 week program focusses on identifying the individual’s skills and strengths and is grounded in strong support and aims long term positive outcomes.

Warrmijala Murrgurlayi participants and staff.

Yawuru Housing

The Yawuru Housing Community Reference Group (YHCRG) started in 2013 as a way for Yawuru community members who are passionate about housing to get involved, share ideas and contribute a community perspective. Recently we called for new members for the 2019/2020 year and we’re excited to have three new YHCRG members to join our three dedicated YHCRG members from last year. We are always open to welcoming more members and if you or a Yawuru family member or friend is interested, they can come in for a chat with the Housing Team or to pick up an Application Form. Alternatively they can contact us at housing@yawuru.org.au

Yawuru Housing Community Reference Group

Yawuru Housing has vacancies in our Jirril Mingaran Housing Program for Yawuru families who are eligible for a 3 Bedroom property and are committed to developing a positive family environment, finding or continuing secure employment and connecting with and giving back to the Yawuru Community

If you or a family member are without a home or waiting for their Department of Housing property and living in the Broome Shire, please ask them to contact the Housing Team on 9192 9600, or at housing@yawuru.org.au


Lustre: Pearling & Australia has recently opened at the first of its regional WA touring locations. The Museum of the Goldfields in Kalgoorlie is hosting the exhibition until 1 September 2019 when it will move on to the Museum of the Great Southern until February 2020.

Sarah Yu, WA Museum's Roz Lipscombe, Dianne Appleby and Naomi Appleby.


Congratulations to Indent for winning an award for their first construction project. Indent is a joint venture between NBY and H&M Tracey and constructed the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Wellbeing Centre. It recently won the award for best Public Use building $5,000 000 - $10,000 000 from the Master Builders-Bankwest Building Excellence Awards for the Kimberley-Pilbara region.

Jil Rudeforth (NBY Board member and Indent Director) and Harold Tracey accepting the Master Builders award.

The building was designed by Laird Tran Studios and was completed on time and under budget as well as achieving the important benchmark of ensuring 30% of the workforce were Indigenous.

We look forward to seeing Indent grow with more projects in the Northwest..

Out and About

It’s been a busy time of year and NBY has been part of some of the events and festivities around town. At the Chinatown Festival, the ‘Connection to Country’ morning tea event was an engaging insight into the stories of the area. Hosted by Yawuru Ranger Luke Puertollano, Jimmy Edgar, Judy Edgar and Natalie Dean shared stories of growing up ‘up the hill’ and others that their elders had shared with them. Martha Lee and Ricky Roe, artists who worked on the project with students from Broome Senior High School, shared their experience and the stories behind the artworks.

If you take a look around the Chinatown streets with the new artworks and street furniture, you’ll see Yawuru stories embedded in the streetscape to enliven the town’s history and culture.

up Coming events


We have some new faces in the office including Richard Austin in HR and Natalie Dean who is looking after our Elders program for 2 months.

Our Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa centre is fully staffed; Karen Doyle is the new facilities manager and the Mabu Mayi Café has John Copeland on board as chef and Marley Holmes. You’ll also meet a number of Indigenous trainees on staff at front house on a daily basis.

PH 08 9192 9600

PO Box 425, Broome WA 6725

55 Reid Rd, Cable Beach WA 6726