The Kimberley region is located in far north Western Australia, comprised of the West Kimberley towards the coast and the East Kimberley towards the Northern Territory border. Jawun began working with the Indigenous communities of the East Kimberley in 2010, and in 2012 broadened its boundaries to include communities in the West Kimberley region.
The East Kimberley region includes the towns of Kununurra, Halls Creek, and Wyndham, and over 50 smaller communities – extending all the way from Balgo in the south, Kalumburu in the north, and Malangan near the Northern Territory border.
According to the ABS Census:
- 12,105 people live in the East Kimberley, of which 6,537 (54%) identified as Indigenous (2016)
- The median age of Indigenous people is 22 years compared to 36 years for the non-Indigenous population (2016)
- 24% of Indigenous 20–24 year olds complete Year 12 or equivalent compared to 80% for the non-Indigenous population (2016)
- 32% of the Indigenous workforce age population are employed compared to 88% for the non-Indigenous population (2011 – 2016 disaggregated data not yet available)
Indigenous people in the Kimberley region face the same enormous challenges they face across Australia. However, mining activity in Western Australian in the last decade has meant jobs, a government focus and investment in transitional housing, so there is considerable opportunity for improving the lives of Indigenous people in this region.