Jawun program, Final week
This final post covers week 6 of my attachment to Jawun, working in the beautiful city of Broome, in the Kimberley, WA.
At the end of week 5, I had injured my leg while on a fishing trip to Willie Creek, and this naturally slowed me down somewhat compared to the other weeks. In addition, there was much to do to complete the tasks we had been working on, and to prepare for our departure back to our various home bases.
In my case, the task at hand was to work with Elle to complete our final report, documenting a principles-based approach to the development of a youth strategy for the West Kimberley. This started with a key feedback meeting on the Monday, at which we discussed our draft report with Chris from Jawun; Mimi representing Tony of Yawuru; and Tyronne from the Kimberley Land Council.
With encouraging feedback from the advisory group, Elle and I worked to finalise the report – this involved significant effort, both to complete the detail remaining covering the needs and programs, and to bring the document into a properly formatted form. This was completed by the Wednesday lunchtime, and sent out to our stakeholders.
At the end of a very intensive piece of work, we had produced a piece of work which we both felt was significant; was likely to promote conversations that would advance the ability to support youth in the Kimberley; and represented a fusion of the different skills and experience we had brought to the task.
We had enjoyed working at NBY, principally of the quality of the people with whom we worked, and because of their commitment, positive attitude and the welcoming community spirit in the whole organisation.
On the Thursday, we first attended a Yawuru community meeting, which only confirmed the wide range of activities being conducted, before heading over to Nirrumbuk for feedback and discussion among the whole team of their experiences with Jawun. Overall, we were encouraged, although it is evident that the success of the strategy will completely depend on how it is taken forward by tha Jawun and aboriginal community.
Other activities in the week included a final trip to Roebuck Bay with Wendy Fowler, to make full use of the 4WD hired for the fishing trip with Nolan; a final Kimberley sunset; and a trip down to the Town Beach café to enjoy the stunning view before departing on the flight back to Canberra, via Perth. As usual, the gallery of photos reflects these activities, with the addition of some pictures of the Yawuru offices to show the working environment, and of the Habitat resort to show the living environment.
How can I sum up this experience? There are so many different aspects. The Kimberley is visually stunning, with amazing reds and blues; the work was intense, at times stressful and somewhat depressing; but there was a sense of achievement in creating a potential for positive development. The people were fascinating – intelligent, passionate, caring and committed; the politics are complex, with so many stakeholders having differing objectives, drivers and cultures.
Of course, we also had to manage our own different skills, culture and experience as we did the task, and as we grew to appreciate the important influences of family, of culture, of country, and of history affecting the aboriginal peoples of the Kimberley.
For the moment, all I can say is that I am still digesting what has been a fascinating opportunity. I can only express the hope that the work we have completed will prove to be an influence for good.