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, Warmun, 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 2016 ABS Census:
- 10,413 people live in the East Kimberley region, of which 4,758 (46%) identified as Indigenous
- 37% of Indigenous 20–24 year olds completed Year 12 or equivalent compared to 88% for the non-Indigenous population
- 38% of the Indigenous workforce age population are employed full time compared to76% for the non-Indigenous population
Indigenous people in the Kimberley region face the same enormous challenges they face across Australia. In the East Kimberley, the greater community is being supported through programs addressing education, health, welfare, housing, childcare development, and employment.
However, there has been considerable opportunity for improving the lives of Indigenous people as a result of agricultural developments in the Ord area in the last decade, which has brought with it jobs and investments in transitional housing. Additional opportunities exist in new business development, land and sea management (ranger programs) and tourism, hospitality and various other fields.