West Kimberley

Overview

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 East Kimberley in 2010, and in 2012 broadened its boundaries to include communities in the West Kimberley region.

The West Kimberley region includes the towns of Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and a number of Indigenous communities on the Dampier Peninsula. The region extends to the Pilbara in the south, across to Yulumbu, Ngallagunda and Marunbadi in the east, and Kandiwal in the north.

According to the 2011 ABS Census:

  • 23,423 people live in the West Kimberley, of which 8,414 (36%) identified as Indigenous.
  • The median age of Indigenous people is 23 years compared to 35 years for the non-Indigenous population
  • 28% of Indigenous 20–24 year olds complete Year 12 or equivalent compared to 58% for the non-Indigenous population
  • 39% of the Indigenous workforce age population are employed compared to 73% for the non-Indigenous population

Indigenous people in the West Kimberley face the same enormous challenges they face across Australia. However, mining in Western Australian over 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.