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Her Excellency meets community representatives in Broome, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing during West Kimberley Regional Visit

Friday, 28th July 2017

Her Excellency embarked on a visit of the West Kimberley region on Sunday, 23 July.

The visit was part of the Regional Visit Program which gives the Governor an opportunity to meet with people that make up the fabric of rural communities in our State.

Her Excellency was able to personally meet and greet with people from all areas including health, industry, arts and culture, education and local government.

“The West Kimberley region in the north-west of WA is a very special place. Its rugged wilderness across the land and sea is breathtaking, and its residents in the local towns and communities are lucky to live against its backdrop.

I was fortunate to meet with many proud long term residents, Traditional Owners and Elders, community leaders, volunteers, health workers, teachers, students and local organisations, and a common theme was the sense of pride and respect for their communities and the environment and the wish to give back to the community,” Her Excellency said.

“The week-long trip was a chance to hear about the region’s recent achievements and to engage with the people who call it home. We were fortunate to also visit two of the wonderful attractions in the region, namely the Yawuru Birragun Conservation Park encompassing the fascinating Broome Bird Observatory, and to view the remarkable Geikie Gorge from the new Parks and Wildlife boat as well as to enjoy the famous sunsets including a spectacular sunset from Derby Jetty.”

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In Broome, Her Excellency visited:

  • Yawuru Birragun Conservation Park & Yawuru Nagulagun/Roebuck Marine Park. Yawuru Birragun Conservation Park is the terrestrial park in which the Broome Bird Observatory is located and is adjacent to the Yawuru Nagulagun/Roebuck Bay Marine Park. Both Parks are jointly managed by the Yawuru Traditional Owners and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions – Parks and Wildlife Service. 
  • Broome Cluster Schools: Visited Roebuck Primary School, and also met with representatives from Broome Senior High School, Broome North Primary School, Cable Beach Primary School, of the Broome Cluster Schools initiative.
  • Magabala Books, Australia’s leading Indigenous publishing house based in Broome.
  • Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Services (BRAMS). Established in 1978, BRAMS was the first remote Aboriginal Medical Service in Western Australia. BRAMS is committed to the core principles of Aboriginal self-determination, access, equity, empowerment and reconciliation.
  • WA Country Health Service – Broome Midwifery Group Practice. 
  • Broome Volunteer Sea Rescue & Broome Surf Life Saving Club Attended an afternoon tea at Broome Surf Life Saving Club, and met with Broome Volunteer Sea Rescue.
  • Kimberley Girl Program at Goolarri Media Studio. A Kimberley wide regional program designed to assist young Aboriginal women gain confidence and self-respect.

The Governor also:

  • Attended a dinner hosted by the Shire of Broome and a breakfast hosted by Nyamba Buru Yawuru (Traditional Owners) Chief Executive Officer Mr Peter Yu, and Shire of Broome President Councillor Ron Johnston.
  • Met with Kimberley Development Commission Chairperson Mr Michael McConachy and received a briefing of projects and initiatives.


In Derby, Her Excellency visited:

  • Mowanjum Centre Pivot Irrigation Trial. A joint irrigated agricultural trial based on centre pivot technology being undertaken by the State Government in partnership with Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation.
  • Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation, a community of 295 people 10 kilometres outside Derby.
  • Mowanjum Art & Culture Centre. The Gallery is part of the Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre which resembles a Wandjina (supreme Spirit) from the air.
  • Wharfinger House Museum. Wharfinger House was constructed in the 1920’s. Of significance to the social and historic development of Derby, it was restored in 1988 and has been used as a museum since 1990.
  • Derby Visitor’s Centre
  • Derby Wharf with Cr Elsia Archer.
  • Derby District High School.  The Governor attended a school assembly. Derby District High School caters for Kindergarten to Secondary School students with approximately 650 students currently. The students live in Derby and environs, including the Aboriginal Communities of Mowanjum and Pandanus.
  • Kimberley School of the Air (KSOTA). Kimberley School of the Air (KSOTA) provides schooling to remote students unable to attend school in towns or communities.

The Governor also attended a luncheon hosted by the Shire of Derby West Kimberley. The Shire has a population of 9,129.

Fitzroy Crossing

In Fitzroy Crossing, Her Excellency visited:

  • WA Country Health Services – Fitzroy Valley Health Services. Hospital and Community Health Services that work in partnership with Nindilingarri Cultural Health Service.
  • Nindilingarri Cultural Health Service. An Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) focussed on three main areas: health promotion, health services and community services.
  • Karrayili Adult Education Centre. Karrayili is an independent, Aboriginal controlled Registered Training Organisation offering education and training to residents of the Fitzroy Valley area of the Kimberley in WA.
  • Fitzroy Valley District High School. Fitzroy Valley District High School caters for Kindergarten to Secondary School students with approximately 266 students at the end of Semester 1 2017.
  • Mangkaja Arts Gallery. Mangkaja Arts represents Artists across four language groups within the Fitzroy Valley region; Bunuba and Gooniyandi of martuwarra (river country), and Walmajarri and Wangkajunga from the jilji, (sand-hill country of the Great Sandy Desert).
  • Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre. Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre addresses the needs of women and families in the Fitzroy Valley Commnuity. It has established several service units over the years including a women’s shelter, legal unit, Marulu FASD Strategy Unit and a Social Enterprise Artist Studio.  The Social Enterprise Artist Studio supports women to turn the things they love to do into projects that make money.
  • Baya Gawiy Early Childhood Learning Unit Established under the National Partnership Agreement to address closing the gap outcomes for Indigenous children in the early years.