Jid yinyjun wula yirr guninyguniny yingarrngaran walag Marrulgunburu - The rain stops and tadpoles become frogs in Marrul season.

2020 Marrul newsletter

Yawuru responding to the unprecedented pandemic threat

Ngaji mingan,

Like everyone around the world, with the Covid-19 pandemic we are facing an emergency that is affecting every part of our lives, both now and into the future. NBY is meeting this challenge and has enacted a number of vital protocols. The NBY office is now closed until the Wednesday 6th May, but we have established working from home systems for our staff. The closure of the office will be reviewed and subject to conditions and this could be extended if necessary. Our executive team is meeting remotely every day to ensure we are on top the constantly changing situation and can continue to deliver services and information to our community.

Our enterprise development and programs have to be adapted to be meet constantly changing conditions, but we continue to put the health and wellbeing for our community members first. The threat from this virus to our community and culture is not to be under-estimated. I have been in regular communication with both state and federal authorities to increase protections, limit movement and give support for our Yawuru community as well as for other Indigenous communities across the region. We appreciate the recent State Government decision to limit movement in the Kimberley and all regions but will continue to advocate for better support and protection for this region which is home to the most vulnerable people in the State.

Families with children are now impacted through recently announced changes to schooling. It’s a challenge to juggle work, family and education and we will keep you up to date with support available, but the WA Department of Education is encouraging all families to use this Learning at home site and keep in contact with schools.

We are all adapting every day to this new era and NBY is working to support our community. The wonderful care packages from our Community Development team have been delivered to the Elders and we give a special gala mabu to Di Appleby, Natasha Matsumoto, Lloyd Pigram, Maree Edgar, Chad Sloan and others for their work on this.

Gala mabu

Peter Yu

Congratulations Cara Peek

On April 3 Cara Peek, NBY Chairperson, won the 2020 WA AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. The Award celebrates the integral role regional women play in their communities across Australia. Cara is a lawyer and business owner and was recognised for her work empowering Indigenous people to improve their social, emotional and economic well-being through a range of enterprises.

Many people will know Cara from Saltwater Country and the annual Rhythm and Ride Rodeo events, celebrating the heritage of the Kimberley Aboriginal pastoral industry and offering related emotional, economic and cultural initiatives, including training and employment. Cara will invest the $10,000 business development award in progressing the Saltwater Academy, building on existing work to include a number of targeted place-based, people-centred programs.

Cara, a Yawuru-Bunuba woman, has been Chairperson of NBY since 2018 and brings a dynamic energy to the Board.

The recognition is a bright spot amongst the other Coronavirus news and we congratulate Cara for her work to support Indigenous communities. She will now represent Western Australia at the national AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.


Care packs to Elders

Our Community Development team has been busy putting together care packages for our elderly and most vulnerable community members. Di Appleby, Natasha Matsumoto, Lloyd Pigram, Maree Edgar, Gina Albert, Thomas Edgar and Wayne Edgar and others have been hunting and foraging to gather bush food, honey and medicine that they are packaging along with basic non-perishable foods and other essential household items, hygiene and health related products and health tips on how to protect yourself and look after your family during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We are also providing fresh fish and meat packs.

These packages provide social and emotional well-being to Yawuru Elders and keep them in touch with our community. They are being distributed to community members most at risk in relation to COVID-19, and all work is being done with adherence to strict risk-management protocols, ensuring we are protecting staff and community members from any potential infection.

We would like to thank Yeeda Meats, KAMS and Coles for supporting this critical work. We are seeking further support and are collaborating with other local services to continue to support vulnerable members in the community to remain safely in their homes during this time.

Work and Training: Warrmijala Murrgurlayi Rise up to Work

In February 2020, 15 young people commenced an 8 week Skillz program to develop their skills and gain sustainable employment. They will achieve a Certificate II in Agriculture, learning about Yawuru culture, country and community and building their life and employability skills. They were working with key services providers in our community including Alive & Kicking Goals, Jobs & Skills Centre and Broome Circle House, however, due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the program is on hold.

All participants are guaranteed employment from the Warrmijala Murrgurlayi Rise up to Work program and when they complete the course they will be eligible for the 2020 Traineeships at Roebuck Plains Station. Our Work and Training team is continuing to work with the participants, preparing them for their interviews with the Jobs & Skills Centre for 8 positions at Roebuck Plains Station, and we look forward to working with them to complete their training when we are able to start the program again in the coming months.


While our Yawuru Housing program is transitioning to the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund (NWAHF), Margy Dia is still working at NBY. She is in daily contact with Foundation Housing and current and ex-tenants to ensure everyone understands how best to wrap up any outstanding issues and how the transition to the new program is going.

If you have any queries, you can call the main office number 08 9192 9600 and you will be put into contact with Margy while we continue to work from home.


New Minyirr Park Signage

If you’ve visited Minyirr Park recently, you would have seen some new signage that’s been erected. There are now four large Trail Maps signs at Park entrances, and seven individual Trail Head signs providing valuable information for visitors on the bush trails that lead to and from the beach. These signs enrich the experience of visiting Minyirr Park and share the environmental and cultural values with visitors.

The signs were developed by the Yawuru Park Council, with Parks and Wildlife Yawuru Rangers, our Environmental Services team, community members and our language and cultural Reference groups. They add value by providing cultural context for each trail, as well as providing standardised class rating, distance and walking information. They encourage people to stay on the trails and look after the environment by not straying off the designated pathways.

Next time you’re heading up the stairs, pause and take a look at the signs and find out more about this fantastic public space that we share.

Spectacled Hare-Wallaby Research

Ongoing work for Kimberley’s threatened species got a major boost with a recent Lotterywest grant for WWF-Australia and regional Ranger groups, including Yawuru’s Country Managers. Minister of the Environment, Stephen Dawson came to NBY on March 5 to announce $2.2 million funding over 3 years for work on six culturally and environmentally important species in the Kimberley, including Spectacled Hare-Wallaby, Gouldian Finch and the Black-footed Rock Wallaby.

The Yawuru Country Mangers have been researching the Spectacled-Hare Wallaby for a couple of years now and will continue the project, building towards the creation of a Spectacled Hare-Wallaby habitat model for the western Kimberley. In early March the Yawuru Country Managers put out camera traps on Roebuck Plains in areas where the mammal was known to live, and they are re-surveying sites where Spectacled Hare-Wallaby had been seen about 2 years ago. The cameras will be collected and the data will be analysed with assistance from WWF. The Country Manager team will also be measuring vegetation to better understand what the Spectacled Hare-Wallaby likes and needs, with the goal of building up a complete picture of the animal and its habitat.

The proposed Broome Boating Facility

Broome community members, the tourism industry and visitors have all been actively advocating for improved boat launching facilities for a number of years. The Shire of Broome and Department of Transport have been working with NBY and the PBC to find a location for a safe boating facility that meets our cultural and environmental conditions, as well as adhering to public use requirements. The land at Entrance Point is owned by the Port Authority and the current proposed site and project is managed by the Shire of Broome and the Department of Transport. Native title has been extinguished in that area, but it is important to Yawuru for the high cultural and environmental values in the area.

The Yawuru Law bosses, PBC Directors and some community members have undertaken an intensive engagement with the Shire and the Department of Transport in relation to the Broome Boat Facility concept design. A site visit took place in December 2019, followed by a Yawuru mapping exercise to identify key concerns and possible location options. Significant midden sites, reef system and rock formations were identified that would be damaged by the original design. As a result the proposal was discussed with the Project Partners and the revised concept design was developed. Agreement was reached in February 2020 and was approved by the PBC Board to progress to Business Case, subject to coastal process assessments.

Road access to the facility is still being negotiated with Yawuru law bosses and the Shire of Broome to avoid significant environmental and cultural values in the area. However at this point, the project has reached the public comment stage and we invite everyone to have a say on the proposal and complete this survey.


Our Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa centre and the Mabu Mayi Café are closed until further notice.

PH 08 9192 9600

PO Box 425, Broome WA 6725

55 Reid Rd, Cable Beach WA 6726