wangalji yinambarrun banugabu Marrulgunburu - the south easterly wind starts to blow in Marrul season




Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa update

The Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa site is starting to take shape with the laying of three slabs at the end of April. Progress on construction has been excellent, taking in to account the heavy wet season in Broome.

NBY is aiming to ensure there are high numbers of Indigenous contractors and trades working on the project. Indent, the construction company, has a mission to increase Indigenous training and employment in Broome and the wider region.

NBY is ensuring that the Liyan-ngan Nyirwa centre not only lives up to its ambition to reflect Yawuru values in its operation, but also in its construction.

Once the slabs have cured, steel works will start on the structure of the buildings.

The landscaping of the site will be beautiful, with numerous Indigenous artworks being created. Amongst other things, there will be timber bronze and steel sculptures by Martha Lee, Bart Pigram and Arnold ‘Pudding’ Smith and Terezita Corpus is working on a mosaic.

It will be a lovely place to gather with play elements, shade structures, paving patterns, fire pits and concrete art benches. While the gardens won’t be planted for a while, the seedlings are being grown by Yawuru people in preparation for planting later in the year.

While our office area is a construction site, access at this time is a bit different to what you may be used to. If you are having difficulty, let us know and we will assist you to find a solution.

A reminder that all staff and visitor parking is relocated to Bernard Way while construction work is being carried out.

From the CEO’s desk

Ngaji mingan,

As the south east winds begin to blow and the season changes, it signals that the time of year when we begin to welcome a lot of visitors to town.

As Chair of the Indigenous Reference Group advising the Northern Ministerial Council for Northern Development, I’ve been participating in discussions on a broad range of issues seeking to elevate traditional owner participation in the northern development agenda. These are critical issues for the future growth and investment in our regions. NBY in conjunction with the KDC and the Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture Hon Alannah McTiernan co-hosted a Kimberley Indigenous Pastoralists roundtable in Broome on 28th and 29th April. Discussions centre on the future of the pastoral industry and how best to assist in the development and growth of these properties in improving their productivity and contribution to the regional economy as well as improving returns for the benefit of their communities.

Yawuru is also co-hosting the AIATSIS Native Title Conference in June and Yawuru representatives will presenting a number of Keynote addresses as part of our involvement in the event. It will be a really busy time for Broome with some trial flights from Singapore starting to coincide with the Cable Beach Polo and the start of the Racing Season. Broome’s civic leadership is focused on how to increase investment and interest in the region and is aligned with NBY’s ambitions to expand investment and create business opportunities that will benefit our community. The vision is for sustainable and prosperous future built on Yawuru values and reflecting our commitment to the philosophy of mabu liyan that defines healthy wellbeing for individuals and the community.

Finally, for anyone who is visiting Broome in the next couple of months, don’t forget to take a walk with our ‘Jetty to Jetty Heritage Trail’ app. It shares history of the town and its characters and we are proud that it has just won a WA Heritage Award for Heritage Interpretation.


NBY CEO Peter Yu with Anne Arnold Chair Heritage Council WA and Hon David Templeman MLA Minister for Heritage.

National Native Title Conference

Between June 5th and 7th Cable Beach will become a hub for more than 700 delegates from across Australia for the annual National Native Title Conference.

The conference, convened by AIATSIS and the Kimberley Land Council in recognition of their 40th anniversary, will be hosted by Yawuru. Yawuru has a significant presence in the program with Keynote Addresses from Yawuru Lore boss Senator Patrick Dodson and NBY CEO Peter Yu. Nini Mills, NBY’s Manager of Community Development will deliver the Youth Delegate Keynote Address. Yawuru staff and Directors are presenting a number of papers throughout the 3 day program and are hosting the Bugarrigarra Nyurrdany exhibition on the grounds of the Cable Beach Club. The cultural program will showcase Kimberley culture, led by Yawuru.

Large marquees will house the sessions and it’s an exciting opportunity to participate in a range of debates on native title on home ground and look at future directions for legal and political coexistence as well as showcasing the vibrant Kimberley cultural traditions.

The program is here: https://bit.ly/2GSzaY6

Environmental Services

Camera trapping in Pio’s Paddock

The Land and Sea team have been undertaking an extensive camera trapping survey of a 300 km2 area in “Pio’s Paddock” (within the Yawuru IPA north of Roebuck Roadhouse).

The team is setting 35 motion sensitive cameras to gather information on the types and abundance of animals living in the area. Twenty of these cameras were installed via helicopter by the LAS team and Country Managers with the aid of Environs Kimberley, WWF and DBCA Rangers.

The cameras are placed on a picket near bait consisting of oats, peanut butter and sardines that will attract any animals nearby. The cameras will automatically take photos when motion is detected in front of them.

After one month the cameras will be collected and the photos reviewed to identify any species who have been snapped.

Country Managers setting camera traps on Pio’s Paddock.

Marrul season on Yawuru country

The floodwaters on Roebuck Plains have now declined to levels that allow access to the fenced, culturally significant springs at Mimiyagaman and Ram Paddock.

With the start of the morning easterlies that indicate Marrul (changing) season, the team can begin GIS monitoring. It’s a great time to fly over these springs with the drone to sample vegetation health and water extent. This is part of an ongoing monitoring program to capture how the fenced culturally significant springs change with the seasons and how they recover from the impacts of cattle.

We now have information on vegetation health of the springs for three seasons; end of dry (Barrgana), end of warming before the first rains (Laja) and end of wet season (Man-Gala).

Arial surveys shows the extent of water on Yawuru country.

Edarrbur (Rubibi #18)


An Edarrbur claim group meeting was held on 15 February 2018 which was intended to be an authorisation meeting to consider a minute of consent determination which had been agreed in principle between the State of Western Australia (State) and the Edarrbur Applicant since November 2016.

The day before the meeting was scheduled to take place the State withdrew its agreement and would no longer agree to the recognition of exclusive possession native title within parts of the Edarrbur Claim area. Due to a last minute change of position by the State it was decided that the claim group meeting was not in a position to make any decisions. The meeting went ahead as an information session but no decisions were made.

The Edarrbur matter has now been adjourned by the Federal Court pending the outcome of a special leave application to appeal another case Attorney-General v Helicopter-Tjungarrayi (Ngurra Kayanta & Ngurra Kayanta #2) [2018] FCAFC 35 (Ngurra Kayanta #2) currently before the High Court of Australia. If the application is denied this could mean the matter is adjourned for 3 – 5 months, if the appeal is heard by the High Court it could mean the matter is adjourned for 1 - 2 years.

Edarrbur claim area.


Bike track paves the way

With the Cape Leveque road sealing, beginning in April 2018, there are employment opportunities for those with the right qualifications. NBY’s Transition to Work program and Carey Training have recently delivered a Certificate III Civil Construction – Plant Operations.

The trainees built a community BMX track at the Broome PCYC centre as a live works project. After 16 weeks of full time training 6 graduates demonstrated their commitment and enthusiasm for the industry and are now all employed.

Certificate III Civil Construction graduates and trainers.

Pablo Lane, Transition to Work coordinator said “These young men should be very proud of their achievements because they have set themselves on the road for a career of their choosing”.

Thanks to the industry engagement and support from McCorry Brown Earthmoving, Kimberley Quarries, Roadline Civil and Main Roads WA.

“It is because of the collaboration from community organizations and The Broome industries that these types of programs are able to go ahead and benefit the young people of Broome and the community as a whole”
NBY’s Transition to Work participants.

fishing FOR ELDERS

A new initiative was trialed recently to assist in NBY’s support of the elders of the community. The program also encourages younger people to develop commitment to cultural obligations and community respect.

It centred on everyone’s favourite activity – fishing.

In conjunction with young community members, a couple of NBY staff spent a day out on the Bay for the ‘Fishing for Elders’ program and delivered their catch to the elders within the community. The outcomes were a real sense of satisfaction and mutual appreciation as well as a good feed.

Growing with HIPPY

Vanessa Gregory has joined our NBY HIPPY team as a Home Tutor. The HIPPY team has been out and about promoting the program at Broome Boulevard, the Broome Drop In Centre and BRAMS to share their experience as HIPPY mums.

The ‘Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters’ (HIPPY) supports families with early learning activities for two years. It respectfully recognises parents as their child’s first teacher and parents, family members or carers are supported through weekly home visits by HIPPY Tutors who help guide them through educational activities and group meetings to share common experiences.

Hippy team at the Boulevard.
Hippy is FREE. We are enrolling Kindy kids now. If you’d like more information contact Co-ordinator Clare Mclean on 08 9192 9600.


Economic Development

Pivot irrigation investigation

In March our Economic Development team and Dean Mathews our Environmental Services Senior Project Officer, spent a couple of days in Derby learning about pivot irrigation.

Pivot irrigation has the potential to offer greater control of irrigation on pastoral stations. Like many other pastoralists in the Kimberley, NBY is interested in what these systems may offer to Roebuck Plains Station.

The Derby training course was a valuable way to find out what other growers have experienced by meeting and hearing about both the successes and potential pitfalls. A field trip to Mowanjum Station showed how one station is already increasing its cattle feed on their land.

NBY is now investigating the risks and potential benefits of pivot irrigation and undertaking environmental and archeological assessments, balancing it against Yawuru environmental and cultural values. The results may show it’s a good option for diversifying output on Roebuck Plains Station while looking after country at the same time.

Pivot irrigation at Mowanjum.


The Kimberley Aboriginal Pastoral Forum brought together local cattlemen with industry and government stakeholders.

Hosted by Yawuru, the KDC and Minister Alannah MacTiernan it was a weekend of discussions about issues that challenge and inspire regional pastoral holders. Speakers included Darrylin Gordan, WA Rural Woman of the Year and Jack Burton from Yeeda. Wayne Bergman also presented and Peter Yu set the tone in his introduction focusing on the increasing value of Northern Australia and the future of the Kimberley’s relationships with Australian and international markets. The Pastoral Lands reform package is of major interest in enabling traditional owners to unlock the value in their country for sustainable futures.

A trip to Roebuck Plains Station on Sunday was an informative experience for the participants to hear directly about station operations from the station managers.

Easter party

The annual Yawuru Easter party is always popular and Town Beach provided a cool spot for families to gather. The kids enjoyed the games, crafts and the egg hunt. Thanks to the NBY staff who cooked up a storm and to everyone who came along to make the afternoon a lot of fun.

Yawuru stories on the new Lookout

The planned Lookout at the top of Fredrick Street is part of the Shire of Broome's Chinatown Revitalisation project and will reclaim under-utilised public space by creating a landmark location to take in views of Roebuck Bay and Yawuru country.

Rick Roe, Vanessa Margets, Martha Lee and Naomie Hatherley with the year 12 students.

Yawuru artist Martha Lee and students at the Broome Girls Academy at Broome Senior High School have created designs based on the walga walga (salmon) story from Dampier Creek.

“It was a really great experience to work with the students because they were from all over the Kimberley and now they have contributed to something in Broome that will be really spectacular to see”. Matha Lee

Ricky Roe and the Year 12 Art students worked on the jalangardi (goanna) story. Together with Vanessa Margets of Mudmap they are incorporating the designs into the structure which will start construction soon.

Year 7 Broome Girls Academy students.

Bugarrigarra Nyurrdany: Because of the Dreaming

Yawuru’s new exhibition Bugarrigarra Nyurrdany (Because of the Dreaming) will be given its first public preview at the National Native Title Conference.

The exhibition uses the Yawuru seasons and cycles of change to explore different aspects of Yawuru cultural heritage and experience over time. Emerging curators Maree Edgar and Lloyd Pigram have worked with Sarah Yu and Suzanne Jess to develop stories, language and artefacts along with interpretive videos that will eventually be housed in the new Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa centre.

Yawuru artists are working with Nagula Jarndu to design a series of unique artworks that will be part of the exhibition, representing each of the seasons.

Cissy Djiagween making art for the Bugarrigarra Nyurrdany exhibition.

Staff changes

We are saying Ngaji mingan and gala mabu to a few staff. Youth Engagement Officer Tonii Skeen is moving to Sydney for 9 months to take up an exciting opportunity as part of the Jawun leadership development program. She will be working as an Associate in the Not for Profit sector, Social Impact sector in Banking and Industry at the Commonwealth Bank Australia. Bianca Graham has taken on the role as Youth Development Officer.

We also said goodbye to Holly Moore who has been working at NBY for nearly five years and has been a great support for the Environmental Services team in her role as coordinator.

We welcome Linda McSherry as the new Governance Officer who supports all our Boards and company secretary.

We also had a great morning tea to thank Noreen Edgar for her contributions to Yawuru’s community and work at NBY over so many years of cultural and language advice. Gala Mabu Noreen.

Maya Shioji is on leave for 3 months. For this period Bruce Gorring has taken the role as Acting Coordinator of the Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga Centre.


26 May National Sorry Day

1 June Reconciliation Week concert on Male Oval

5 – 7 June National Native Title Conference

08 9192 9600

PO BOX 425, BROOME WA 6725



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