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 2016 ABS Census:
- 23,934 people live in the West Kimberley region, of which 9,531 (40%) identified as Indigenous
- 75% of Indigenous 20-24 year olds completed Year 12 schooling or equivalent compared to 90%% of the non-Indigenous population
- 45% of the Indigenous workforce age population are employed full time compared to 68% for the non-Indigenous population
Indigenous people in the West Kimberley face similar challenges to those faced by Indigenous communities 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.
The Indigenous organisations and leaders Jawun partners with are focused on empowering governance, leadership (at all levels), and economic development. Successes are seen in youth empowerment, rising female leadership, and significant growth in Indigenous-led enterprises.