New and improved buildings for Yawuru people

Media Release


30 October 2017

Joint release with:

Dean Smith

Senator for Western Australia Deputy Government Whip in the Senate

Ben Wyatt

WA Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Energy; and Aboriginal Affairs

Peter Yu

Chief Executive Officer of Nyamba Buru Yawuru

  • Works begin on $5.9 million Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Healing Centre
  • Project will provide new and improved buildings and help protect Yawuru culture
  • Coalition Government invested $2.9 million through the Building Better Regions Fund

The first sod was turned today on the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Healing Centre project, which will construct new buildings and renovate existing buildings, improving the meeting place for the Yawuru people.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project would improve the connection of the Yawuru people to their traditional cultural practices.

“Through the Government's $500 million Building Better Regions Fund, we are constructing a range of dedicated buildings that will facilitate cultural revitalisation and healing activities for the local Yawuru people,” Mr Chester said.

“The Building Better Regions Fund aims to create jobs, drive economic growth, and build stronger regional communities into the future.”

Senator for Western Australia Dean Smith, who joined the community to turn the first sod today, said the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Healing Centre was a significant investment in the region's infrastructure.

“It's great to see construction begin on this new Centre which will promote Indigenous healing, connections and reconciliation, as well as increased opportunities for the Yawuru people and the greater community,” Senator Smith said.

“The project will create 50 jobs during construction and another 17 ongoing jobs post-construction, which will pay dividends for the local economy.”

West Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Wyatt said the project includes the extension and addition to the existing Language Resources Hub.

“The project will see the construction of a multi-purpose community hall, open gathering place, a community garden, cafe kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining and a workshop,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The project will provide social benefits through the promotion of Indigenous healing and economic benefits through employment and supplier outcomes.”

Chief Executive Officer of Nyamba Buru Yawuru Peter Yu said the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Healing Centre is a major milestone for empowerment of the Yawuru community. 

“The Centre is modelled on a community-led approach that will deliver social and cultural programs grounded in the philosophy of mabu liyan (good spirit),” Mr Yu said.

“After many years of planning, the construction of the Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Centre will allow NBY to better deliver cultural and community development initiatives.  Beneficiaries are the Yawuru people and the wider community of Broome.  We also hope this Centre can be a leading light for others across the country who are working on a strength-based approach to community wellbeing and development.”

This project is jointly funded with the Federal Coalition Government committing $2,944,400 and the Western Australian Government $3,000,000.