A taste of the Kimberley
Hear local perspectives
This program is a rare opportunity for you to meet with local Aboriginal and Kartiya (non-Indigenous) communities, for whom water management is a vital aspect of their everyday life. You will interact with Indigenous organisations and people involved in governance of land and water, as well as white land managers running cattle stations (such as Roebuck Plains Station and GoGo cattle station).
Evaluate a real life project
We will undertake a real-life evaluation of the Fitzroy Catchment Management Project (“FitzCAM”) which was completed in 2010. The lessons learnt from this process could be very valuable to the communities who are facing a call for increased development of the Kimberley. The evaluation report we will produce will be our small gift to the communities who will be our hosts during our 10-day trip.
Travel from Broome to the outback
We’ll begin the program in Broome, which will be our base as we talk to local communities and visit surrounding areas, including Roebuck Bay, which is a Ramsar-listed wetland of international significance.
About the Kimberley
The Kimberley is an area of great natural beauty which brings together an incredible diversity of cultures. Land and water management in the Kimberley is a hotly contested topic. This makes it an ideal place to study integrated water management.
The region is home to a diverse range of residents who derive their livelihoods, and their spiritual and cultural values, from the country and its waters. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the region for at least 40,000 years; in the 1800s pastoralists arrived with cattle, along with the Japanese and Chinese pearling fleets which started what is still a major industry in Broome. This cultural fusion makes Broome the exotic place it is today, very different to anywhere else in Australia. Water is important to all of these groups, but their views on how it should be used can differ strongly.
For Indigenous communities, the land holds great spiritual and cultural importance.
Some people see the Kimberley as an area ripe for development. The recent controversy surrounding the Woodside gas development at James Price Point is just one example of how these views can clash.
Geikie Gorge, WA (top) - courtesy of Tourism WA
Group in the Kimberley: courtesy of Tourism Australia (photographer: James Fisher)
Cattle muster: courtesy of Tourism WA