The Governor views the WWII bombing of Broome memorial.
The Governor views the WWII bombing of Broome memorial.

Broome Day 1: Ngaji Gurrjin

Broome, or Rubibi in the language of the Yawuru people, is a seaside town 1,681km north of Perth. A much-loved tourist destination, the largest city in the Kimberley region was declared a town in 1883 and named for then Governor of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Broome. Soon it became a hub of WA’s pearling industry. In 1942, Broome was targeted by the Japanese bombers, resulting in the death of at least 86 people. Remains of this onslaught can still be seen in the harbour today.

It was to this town that the Governor flew during the early hours of the morning.

First stops

Upon touch down, the Governor was escorted on a town tour, stopping at Cable Beach, Town Beach and Chinatown.

Cable Beach was named after a telegraph cable that was laid between Java and Broome in 1889. Today, it is one of the most famous and photographed sunsets in the west, known for beautiful hues and silhouetted camels across 22 kilometres of crystal clear beach.

Part of the Town Beach redevelopment. Part of the Town Beach redevelopment.

The second seaside stop was to Town Beach, a popular spot for holidaying families and the best place in town to see another famous Broome sight, the Staircase to the Moon – a natural phenomenon where the moon rises above exposed mudflats, creating an optical illusion of stairs reaching towards the moon. Recently, the Shire of Broome redeveloped the site to further encourage visitors.

The final stop on the tour of the town centre was Chinatown. The multi-cultural heart of Broome, Chinatown began as tents and corrugated tin sheds in the 1880s. This area was recently revitalised and preserved in partnership with WA State Government and Tourism WA.

A short stay

Walking around the complex.Walking around the complex.

The Kimberley has a large Aboriginal population, many of who need to travel to Broome for medical, judicial, cultural, family and social reasons. To stop ‘rough sleeping’ and provide affordable accommodation, the Broome Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation (BASSA) was created. With an average 70% occupancy rate and 90% of staff of Aboriginal heritage, the lush green facilities are, as the Governor put it, “purely delightful.”

Managed by MercyCare in partnership with Centacare Kimberley, Nyamba Buru Yawuru and Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation, the facility gives Aboriginal people visiting Broome a safe and dry place to rest, recuperate and base themselves from.

Ngaji Gurrjin

The Governor met with members of the board off Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY).The Governor met with members of the board of Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY).

The traditional owners of Rubibi (Broome) are the Yawuru people. Their land encompassed Bangarangara to the yalimban (south) to Wirrjinmirr (Willie Creek) to the guniyan (north), and banu (east) covering Roebuck Plains and Thangoo pastoral leases, in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.

Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) is a corporate entity that encourages the protection of the Yawuru culture and practices whilst also aiming for commercial success for the Yawuru people. Currently, NBY has several projects with the State, including the creation of a Health and Wellbeing Precinct and commercial land projects.

The Governor met with the CEO, Ms Nini Mills, a proud Yawuru/Bunuba woman, to further discuss the entity. Also in attendance were Deputy CEO Taliah Payne and CFO Scott Downsborough.

An official Broome welcome

The Governor chats with local community representatives.The Governor chats with local community representatives.

The Governor received an official welcome from the Shire of Broome at the iconic Mangrove Hotel. Here he mingled with local council, business owners and community members.


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