Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) first established in 1987 as Broomes first Aboriginal resource centre. From that time it has developed into a multi-functional support service to indigenous people in this part of the Kimberley.<p>

MACs responsibilities today include income generating activities like establishment and maintenance of water and power supplies for community and outstation developments, gardening and landscaping, business facilitation services and bookkeeping. Over the past 4 to 5 years the organisation has assumed an increasing role in tourism enterprise, reflecting the growing importance of this industry sector to Broome and its environs, and increasing aspirations amongst Aboriginal people to be involved.<p>

Mamabulanjin recognises considerable income and employment opportunities offered to Aboriginal people through tourism. It also understands the importance of long term investment and application required if these opportunities are to be realised. The organisation has invested heavily in this area and is recognised in this part of the region for its contribution to the development of indigenous tourism.<p>

Involvement of Mamabulanjin in tourism is focused in two key areas:

<ul><li>The establishment of and support to the operation of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Tours; and
<li>The provision of wide ranging support to the development of tourism on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome.</ul>

The organisation is flexible and innovative in its approach and has based a lot of its success on the value of partnerships with community, with government agencies, and with industry. It currently works in a co-operative arrangement with Aboriginal Tourism Australia with a range of objectives tied to the development and promotion of quality indigenous tourism product.<p>

<h2>Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Tours</h2>

MAC was instrumental in the setting up and operation of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Tours. The tour business set up in 1999, offering cultural tours within and around Broome. Refined from its beginnings, this tour operation is now an integral part of the range of opportunities available to a visitor to Broome. It offers employment and training opportunities to local Aboriginal people, and the chance to promote local culture in a dynamic and positive light.<p>

Having established as a part of the local tourism scene, Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Tours is now in the planning stages of expanding and diversifying. It has obtained a transfer license and has partly secured funds for an additional vehicle that will permit the operation of a transfer service to the Dampier Peninsula in 2005. It is MACs intention to purchase a 16 passenger 4WD tour vehicle to commence operations in 2005.<p>

This transfer service will provide immediate benefits for the residents of communities and outstations on the Peninsula. It will provide flow on benefits to small family groups who are operating tourism enterprises in the area and who need a transfer service to deliver customers.<p>

This is a very exiting venture that will bring considerable long term benefits to the area. Mamabulanjin, in association with the Office of Aboriginal Economic Development, is about to undertake detailed business planning.<p>

<h2>Dampier Peninsula Tourism</h2>

The Dampier Peninsula is becoming an increasingly important focus for Kimberley indigenous tourism. This area is now an attractive destination in itself. Combined with the emergence of tourism in Broome, this sub region has the potential to compete as an indigenous tourism destination with other parts of Australia like Alice Springs, Darwin and Cairns.<p>

There are a number of local characteristics that give the Peninsula competitive advantage:

<ul><li>Attractive natural environments from white sandy beaches to mangrove and tidal creeks, as well as picturesque offshore islands;
<li>Access to activities like swimming, snorkeling, fishing, crabbing and boating;
<li>A strong salt water heritage that has persisted through considerable social and economic change over the past century;
<li>Communities with direct links to a history associated with early European exploration, pearling, the mission days, and more recently the homelands movement;
<li>Opportunity for visitors to share a dynamic cultural lifestyle experience;
<li>A track record in tourism activities spanning the past decade; and
<li>Good access to Broome giving opportunity to benefit from increasing traffic to this popular visitor destination.</ul>

Tourism product on the Peninsula varies in scale and in stage of development, from the award winning resort at Kooljaman to small outstation camping grounds that have opened in recent years. The development of tourism on the Dampier Peninsula is recognised as a high priority locally and across all levels of Government. Equally as important, however, is a recognised need to consider the environmental and community changes that inevitably result from tourism enterprise. Communities and outstations on the Peninsula are acutely aware of the potential downsides to tourism. Considerable emphasis is placed on ensuring initiatives are low key, good quality and community driven.<p>
Mamabulanjins recognition of the importance of tourism to the area was reflected in its appointment in 2000 of a tourism project officer to service the area. The role of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation has been hands on and practical, addressing those areas of identified need. Its role includes some business facilitation services as support to local initiative. The organisation has worked closely with other agencies to ensure that its functions are complementary to initiatives like training and infrastructure development.<p>

MACs tourism support functions are an extension of the organisations other service delivery roles in the area, and have worked to strengthen is local connections. Since appointing the project officer the organisation has been responsible for the following:

<ul><li>The annual production of a Dampier Peninsula Travellers Guide;
<li>The installation of quality directional road signs that help visitors find their way to accommodation places on the Peninsula. The signs convey important environmental, cultural and legal messages that play an increasingly important role in managing visitor movements in the area;
<li>The carrying out of erosion control measures adjacent to coastal camping rounds;
<li>Development and installation of interpretive signage in partnership with outstations;
<li>Design and production of brochures and other marketing material for new tourism enterprises;
<li>The commissioning of a Dampier Peninsula marketing strategy prepared by Ray Bird and Associates tourism marketing consultants;
<li>The delivery of two major study tours to the North Kimberley and Central Australia;
<li>Accessing funds to permit the completion of ablution facilities at 3 separate outstation camping grounds; and
<li>The annual inclusion of the Peninsula in regional marketing initiatives.</ul>

Success in these initiatives has been brought about by the ability of Mamabulanjin to engage the support of a range of Government and other financing bodies.<p>

<h2>Aboriginal Tourism Australia</h2>

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation has now established a strategic working relationship with Aboriginal Tourism Australia (ATA). MAC hosts the Western Australian Co-ordinator for ATAs Respecting Our Culture (ROC) tourism accreditation program.<p>

This recently adopted role allows Mamabulanjin the opportunity to deliver a national program into the region and to other parts of the State. It is a ground breaking initiative that will help a number of indigenous tourism operators reach required levels of professionalism and sustainability.<p>

<h2>Future directions</h2>

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation intends to continue the indigenous tourism enterprise support roles it has developed since 1999. The organisation will provide ongoing support to Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Tours as this tourism business endeavours to:

<ul><li>Position the half day cultural tour of the Broome environs as an integral part of the local tourism scene;
<li>Expand and diversify its tourism product to include multiple-day tours that link with other indigenous operators in the West Kimberley; and
<li>Provide a transfer bus service to the Dampier Peninsula.</ul>

MAC intends to continue its role in helping to develop tourism product on the Dampier Peninsula by:

<ul><li>Providing targeted business facilitation services; and
<li>Assisting government and non-government agencies identify opportunities for investment of resources into the area.</ul>

MAC will continue its co-operative arrangements with Aboriginal Tourism Australia as a way of assisting indigenous tourism operators identify and reach industry benchmarks in excellence and sustainability.<p>

<h2>Investment Opportunities</h2>

$10 20,000 to assist the ongoing provision of assistance to indigenous tourism operators in Broome and on the Dampier Peninsula, and to maintain the co-operative arrangement with Aboriginal Tourism Australia.<p>

$85,000 to part finance the purchase of a 16 passenger 4WD tour vehicle that will be used to provide a transfer service to the Dampier Peninsula.<p>

Project description: 
Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) first established in 1987 as Broomes first Aboriginal resource centre. From that time it has developed into a multi-functional support service to indigenous people in this part of the Kimberley.
Lead Organisation: 
Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation
Lead WWW: 

Mentor Type:

Contact Name: 
Neil Gower Director
Contact Phone: 
08 9192 1662
Contact Mobile: 
Contact Fax: 
Contact Email:
Support Type: 
Current Partners: 
Aboriginal Tourism Australia
Currency Type: 

Funding Amount:


Western Australia - West Kimberley - Dampier Peninsula