Wirlburu Newsletter

Wirlburugun yamanji yinambarrun ngurrangurragun.

In Wilrburu the sea breeze starts to blow in the afternoon.

Message from CEO

Ngaji Mingan,

This is my first newsletter to you, bringing updates from Nyamba Buru Yawuru as CEO. It has been a trialing time for everyone during this COVID crisis and lock down, however as we emerge and open back up, we are seeing some great things evolve. We have been lucky here on Yawuru country with a tourism season in bloom, respectful visitors and sharing of Yawuru culture continuing. As Western Australia and the Kimberley cautiously opens up, we were able to host our Shinju Matsuri event, Bugarrigarra Nyurdany (Because of the Dreaming), re-open Mabu Mayi Café with a new menu and new Yawuru faces, start up our training programs, host our popular cultural immersion and awareness, and Yawuru rangers and Country Managers are back on country doing important marine research work with the unveiling of our new vessel Jurrwayi, in partnership with Parks and Wildlife. I would also like to applaud the staff in the Community Development Unit and the Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga Language Centre for their tireless efforts to deliver the much needed and appreciated COVID packages we have been able to get out to the community.

Recently, we welcomed the Premier to Broome and hosted a breakfast for him at Liyan-Ngan Nyirrwa. During his brief visit, we were also able to share some of the work our Yawuru Rangers are doing at Minyirr Park.

We have a few positions open, so be sure to head to our website and see if any might suit you. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the AGM on 19th November, 2020.

Gala Mabu, Susan Bergersen

WA PRemier's Visit

Pictured from left to right, Michael Wysong, Yawuru IPA coordinator (NBY), Josie Farrer - Member for Kimberley, Julie Melbourne, Environmental Services Manager (NBY), Mark McGowan Premier WA, Monica Edgar, Yawuru Country Manager (NBY), Eduardo Maher, Yawuru Country Manager (NBY).

Yawuru Country Managers Monica Edgar and Eduardo Maher led the Premier of WA on a walk through the Monsoon Vine Thickets in Minyirr Park on Sunday 20th September 2020. Funding from the WA Aboriginal Ranger program over the past two years has enabled NBY to protect and restore this threatened ecological community which is home to many traditional bush fruits and medicines for the Yawuru people.

Pictured from left to right: Telly Pearson, Katelyn Woodhouse, Shania Ah Chee, Lenny, Tameka Ware, Brianna Carter and Tavana Phillips.

Mabu Mayi Café and the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Centre hosted the Kimberley Community Cabinet Breakfast on Monday 21st September.

Hiroko Shioji delivered a Welcome to Country for the Premier and guests. The Mabu Mayi Café team served up some delicious morsels including our native flavoured mini quiches; pepper berry and bush tomato chutney and pandan coconut chia pudding served with walaja melaleuca honey granola, to the 100 guests, including Ms Josie Farrer MLA, Member for the Kimberley, Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Minster for Agriculture and Foods; Ports; Jobs and Trade, Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands, Hon Paul Papalia MLA, Minister for Tourism, Hon David Templeman, Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts, Hon Peter Tinley, Minister for Regional Development; Veterans Issues; Asian Engagement, and Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia.

From the Premier himself!!

“It was a pleasure to visit the Mabu Mayi Cafe - great coffee and fantastic, friendly staff. They should also be congratulated on their work in getting local people into work. I look forward to my next visit.Said Premier Mark McGowan.


As part of Shinju Matsuri, NBY hosted a sell-out event, Bugarrigarra Nyurdany (Because of the Dreaming) on Tuesday 1st September. The intimate evening kicked off at dusk in the NBY gardens with a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country by Dianne Appleby. Dean Mathews hosted the evening as MC and introduced Yawuru guides Johani Mamid and Anjo Phillips who then took guests on a tour of the grounds highlighting the artworks and installations at Nyamba Buru Yawuru and the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Centre and sharing Yawuru culture.

Kevin and John Puertollano and Jimmy Edgar shared engaging stories from their childhoods’, growing up in Broome. Guests enjoyed the unique flavour combinations of Broome prepared by the Mabu Mayi Café and served by café staff and trainees from Warrmijala Murrgurlayi’s hospitality program!

Mabu Mayi Staff serving delicious Broome flavours and guests enjoying understanding Yawuru welcome and smoking.
“What a great night, thanks to Bubala’s Kevin Puertollano, John Puertollano and Jimmy Edgar. Honoured for the opportunity to be MC, it was a privilege to hear your stories growing up here in Broome before the pace of change that came. So much history, connection and respect. Gala mabu.” Dean Mathews MC for the evening.

You might have seen us in the media! Goolarri Radio mentioned our event, ABC Kimberley did an interview with Telly Pearson and the Mabu Mayi team and GWN 7 interviewed Di Appleby.


Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise Up to Work) kick starts popular hospitality program

The Warrmijala Murrgurlayi (Rise up to Work) program, run by Nyamba Buru Yawuru and supported by Shell, recently added a hospitality training program in partnership with Mabu Mayi Café.

The hospitality program has grown to be one of the most popular courses, run by NBY’s Community Development Team, second to station work, with 10 people going through in the last couple of months.

Telly Pearson, who was one of the original graduates of the hospitality course and works full time at Mabu Mayi Cafe, said it was exciting to see the new students preparing for their first big event.

"Just seeing the trainees, young indigenous women and men, coming in having a go... It made me proud,” she said.

Program coordinator, Carol-Anne Bernard, said it was important for NBY’s community development team to work closely with NBY’s cultural unit and integrate Yawuru culture into the program from the outset.

“The program is built on the values and behaviours of NBY and measured against the Mabu Liyan (Good Spirit) Framework, that allows individuals to achieve their training and employment goals, while enhancing their wellbeing.”

“Aunty Di does a Yawuru welcome to country and smoking ceremony at the start of our programs for all trainees so they have a good foundation upon which to progress their learning,” Carol-Anne added.

COVID Relief Packages delivered to community members

Pictured: Natalie Dean, Yawuru language consultant preparing the COVID packs - a health pack with toilet paper, soap, santiser and food packs with some essentials such as rice and pasta as well as local bush foods, gubinge - rich in vitamin c and Dianne Appleby’s bush honey!


The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a free, 2 year home based early childhood learning and parenting program that empowers parents and carers to be their child’s first teacher.

Nyamba Buru Yawuru, your local HIPPY provider, are recruiting families for 2021.

Please contact: Kamisa White on 0447 315 475 or send through an email to hippy@yawuru.org.au if you, or someone you know are interested.

Thanks for the tech help Telstra!!

As part of a new partnership between NBY and Telstra, a Telstra Van with tech experts were on site at the NBY Offices between 15 Sept – 18 Sept, to answer all your mobile phone and bill enquiries.

New recruits on Roebuck Plains Station

New recruits for Roebuck Plains Station, commenced a 12-month traineeship where they will complete their Cert II in Agriculture. The final 6 trainees were selected from 15 young people who participated in NBY’s 8 week Warrmijala Murrgurlayi pre-employment program. It was designed to support a larger cohort of clients as part of Roebuck Plains Station’s annual recruitment process for the traineeships.

The program included a range of activities providing life skills, social emotional wellbeing, practical skills and an opportunity to look at the work the Yawuru Country managers do out at Roebuck Station. The program partnered with local service providers to support in the delivery Broome Circle, Jobs & Skills Centre, North Regional TAFE, Alive & Kicking Goals and Nyamba Buru Yawuru’s internal cultural, country and language teams.

Mabu Mayi Café

Pop into our café at 55 Reid Road Cable Beach. Open Monday-Friday from 8am.

Mabu Mayi Café recently catered for a graduation at the University of Notre Dame. Lenny Tang Wei and Shania Ah Chee delivered an amazing menu and Sharee Dolby, Telly Pearson, Tameka Ware and Brianna Carter delivered a tip-top service.

Got an event coming up? Contact: bookings@yawuru.org.au or call 9192 9600. Our Mabu Mayi Café offers on site and off site catering with Broome-style cuisine influenced by our seasons.


Yawuru Cultural Program

Yawuru’s cultural training programs started again after COVID restrictions were eased in the Kimberley. The demand for our Cultural Immersion and Cultural Awareness training has been so strong, we are fully booked for the remainder of the 2020 year! We are looking forward to an exciting 2021, sharing our rich and vibrant cultural experiences on Yawuru country.

In July 2020, our Cultural Unit at NBY, Yawuru Country Managers, Lore Bosses, Elders and Language Centre staff worked together with the Water Corporation to create a bespoke Yawuru cultural program. The program, with support from Gumbaraganyjal (Roebuck Plains) Station, aimed to connect Water Corporation staff more deeply with our Yawuru cultural values and beliefs, our water-related customs and the current work we are doing, monitoring and protecting our precious water sources.

Roebuck Plains Station was the best place to host our training, sharing our traditional water knowledge combined with some of the scientific knowledge we are using to manage impacts to Jila on Roebuck Station.

Water Corporation employees, NBY Cultural Unit and Yawuru Country Managers at Roebuck Station

Dianne Appleby, Yawuru Cultural Coordinator, explains the importance of cultural training and in particular the bespoke Cultural Program developed for Water Corporation.

“Together we are working towards a healthy future that integrates cultural values with environmental sustainability.” Said Dianne Appleby.

We received some great feedback from Water Corporation’s Senior Advisor for the North West, Jordin Payne;

"The team at NBY deliver an exceptional conservation program on Roebuck Station and it was interesting to hear how they have developed this over time with incredible success."

"Our team really value opportunities to connect with the communities we live and work in. This program is providing an important learning journey for our teams and it has already had such a positive impact. Everyone really enjoyed the day and could not stop talking about the professionalism, expert content and how inspired they felt to learn more about Yawuru culture. It has inspired us to expand this program across all regions we operate in.”

Contact: culture@yawuru.org.au or visit www.yawuru.org.au/culture

Yagarrmabulanyji Jarndunil (Women Coming Together)

On Friday 4th September, women from the Kimberley and Broome communities came together to celebrate Yawuru culture on country at Gabunyanya at the Yagarrmabulanyi Jarndunil (Women Coming Together) event.

“Gabunyanya is a very special place for many families to come together and share Mabu Liyan,” explained Di.

Jarndu (Women) from the NBY office, Yawuru members and the broader Broome community enjoyed a traditional welcome to country and smoking, participating in arts activities such as weaving, painting and fishing, and sharing stories over a delicious meal.

NBY Cultural Coordinator, Dianne Appleby, who helped coordinate the event along with other groups, Nagula Jarndu, Goolarri Media Enterprises, KAMSC Wirriya Liyan, Yawuru Country Managers, Coles and Shell, said it was a very special day.

“The sun greeted us with a warm love, embracing us on the country as we sat under the shaded areas overlooking the bay. The rich beauty of the ocean captured our thoughts as it released the gentle sea breeze, easing the heat from our faces,” explained Di.

“The camp oven cooking was delicious! Damper was served with Walaja raw bush honey to go with the main meal of a hearty beef stew cooked on the campfire and dessert, a sweet of apple cake covered with almonds and a dollop cream and a hot cup of Bushells tea. The kitchen chefs then changed their aprons to be the artists.”

A huge thank you to all involved in this heartfelt event, Nagula Jarndu women’s group, Yawuru artists; Maxine Charlie and Martha Lee, Jade Andrews for her tremendous efforts cooking and helping on the day, Jacinta Monk who supported us and made the delicious camp oven apple cake, NBY staff, Yawuru Country Managers, and Yawuru Elders and their families, and all those who participated and helped on the day.

You might have heard us sharing some snippets from the day with Sandy Dann on Goolarri Radio and National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS).

Yawuru Language Program for Indigenous Educational Staff Members

Walalangga Facilitators Hiroko (Roko) Shioji and Coco Yu hosted Yawuru language lessons for Indigenous staff from Broome schools at the Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga Language Centre.

The Yawuru language sessions were designed to build oral and written language, share an understanding of the Yawuru language in a school context, build confidence using Yawuru and to foster simple conversation in Yawuru.

“The language sessions, which ran throughout July and August, focused on oral practise in Yawuru, paying attention to how we pronounce different sounds, the meaning of words, being questioned and how to respond appropriately, as well as creating our own responses to make meaningful conversations. The words being taught, focused on the language we would use in schools,” said Roko.

Photo l to right: L to R: Joelene Pearson, Rebecca Famlonga, Hiroko Shioji, Marika Daniele, Tania McKenna, Yoshinori Hunter, Tiarna Pigram, Myra Faulds, Julieka Stewart, Tessima Sloan, Susanne Bowles

The sessions were a success, involving collaborative learning and a bit of fun, commented Roko.

“Lots of collaborative learning took place between the participants. The participants were very encouraging towards each other and some participants knew each other beforehand as many grew up in Broome, which made for a supportive and fun setting.”

“In earlier sessions, some participants indicated that they were very nervous and lacked confidence in speaking Yawuru in front of others. By the end of the five-week program, all participants felt comfortable and confident enough to speak and share with each other their oral skills as well as the knowledge that they attained by participating in this program."

“Participants are keen to learn more and we hope to offer a follow-up program next term.”


Green Turtle Genetics Research – Joint Management Project

Yawuru Country Managers are working with Parks Australia, Indigenous Saltwater Advisory Group (ISWAG), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and other Kimberley Ranger groups, on a green turtle research project.

The research, which involves capturing green sea turtles and taking genetic samples is happening on Yawuru Nagulagun Roebuck Bay Marine Park. Joint management of the Marine Park has enabled two way learning with sharing of on-country knowledge and scientific knowledge between Country Managers and DBCA. The genetics project will identify where the green turtles that live in Yawuru Nagulagun Marine Park were born and therefore more context to assist Yawuru Country Managers to look after country.

“In terms of the actual genetics research, this is about being smart. We take a sample as do all the other ranger groups along the coast, we send it back to the laboratory and we can look at the relationship of all the turtles in our backyard and get a better understanding of where they actually come from,” explained Dean Mathews.

In addition, two satellite transmitters were deployed on turtles to understand the important habitat required by these turtles and how this may change through the seasons.

Dean Mathews, Land and Sea Manager, Nyamba Buru Yawuru explains further how this research project involves engaging and educating the next generation to participate in the, ‘blue economy.’

We have to provide opportunities for our rangers and community groups to manage and protect key cultural values that are significant to us. Marine resources are very high on our values list.” Explains Dean.

“We want to educate our community that the turtles that forage in our local area, do not reside there. A lot of our turtles, for example the green turtle, do not have nesting sites here. Our rookeries (nesting sites) are under a lot of pressure due to climate change, fishing, plastics and hunting and so, as country managers, we have to look at how the rookeries are sustaining themselves and what do we need to do to look at the hunting aspects and frequency of take.” He said.

Cara Peek, Deputy CEO congratulated Dean on his informative interview with Sandy Dann.

“Well done Dean on a great interview. You have shared invaluable knowledge with Sandy Dann and the broader Broome Community. The green turtle genetics research project is an important project and we at NBY are proud to have you on board working closely with state and federal governments to manage and protect Yawuru land and sea."

New boat, Jurrwayi, supporting marine rangers

A new purpose-built 8.5 metre boat, named Jurrwayi, black tipped reef shark, will enable Yawuru Traditional Owners, marine rangers and Country Managers to get out on country.

Commissioned by the Marine Park Joint Management group, made up of NBY’s Yawuru marine rangers, and Parks and Wildlife Department, the vessel will help scientists and Yawuru marine rangers monitor Yawuru Nagulagun Roebuck Bay Marine Park.

Anthony Richardson, Yawuru marine ranger, says the boat will help with scientific research on country.

New vessel, Jurrwayi, black tipped reef shark, being blessed

“The new vessel will create a lot of new opportunities to get out in the bay and look after our country and take Yawuru people out on Country. Some of the works we are going to deliver will be turtle research work, help us pull our croc traps a lot easier, and mainly just getting out on country and doing a lot of marine debris stuff as well,” explained Anthony.