The Governor tries some jam and fresh made damper.
The Governor tries some jam and fresh made damper.

Broome Day 2: Pearls, Gubinge and Horse Whispering

In 2021 the State Government announced a Two Way Science Initiative. This initiative saw the introduction of immersive workshops on Country, designed by and with local Aboriginal communities and organisations. The project aims to pass on cultural and ecological knowledge, as well as to build an understanding and respect for Aboriginal histories, cultures, people and experiences.

Today, the Governor saw this program in action at Broome Senior High School.

The Governor listens intently to his tutors in the language class.The Governor listens intently to his tutors in the language class.

Broome Senior High School is not only a pilot for this program, but they also teach Yawuru language, host multiple programs encouraging and empowering disadvantaged youth and are the only school in the Kimberley to cater to disabled students.

The Governor started his tour with a Two Way Science class where Aboriginal students spoke about their experiences with the program while sharing some homemade jam made from the gubinge (Kakadu Plum). He then attended a Yawuru language class where the students attempted to teach him a few key greetings.

Queen of gems and the gem of Queens

Tour guides explain the farming process.Tour guides explain the farming process.

Where red dirt country met white sands, the Governor toured Willie Creek Pearls.

One of the few pearl farming licence holders in the country, Willie Creek Pearls showcases the entire lifecycle of the oyster and the pearl, which you can then purchase in their store. The team try to mimic the life the oyster may have in the wild as closely as possible, from breeding to growing and cultivating the pearl. They also aim to utilise every part of the oyster – including the meat and shell.

Working with Marine Biomedical and Professor Zeng of UWA, Willie Creek is manufacturing pearl shell for biomedical purposes. PearlBone is set to be used as a substrate for people with bone disease, bone injury or related surgical needs. Unlike other options on the market, PearlBone mimics the biological make up of human bone, meaning that it is less likely to be rejected by the body. Whilst still in testing phases, this and other bio additives, such as marine collagen and health supplements, are another way Willie Creek aims to make their production more sustainable, renewable and clean.

Horse whispering

The Governor makes friends with one of the horses.The Governor makes friends with one of the horses.

The final stop of the day was to Yawardani Jan-ga, an Aboriginal Equine Assisted Learning program. Run by Juli Coffin and her 100% Aboriginal staff, the program caters to those aged between six to 26 with participants being referred to them through 28 different programs, including schools, mental health initiatives, judicial systems and local hospitals.

Based upon studies in psychotherapy, the program matches a participant with a horse and aims to develop positive energy, self-recognition, reflection, growth and a sense of worth.

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