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Unique partnership between two Aboriginal organisations contracted to establish essential services in East Kimberley

Giovanni Torre -

In a landmark collaboration, Wunan Foundation and MG Corporation (Miriuwing Gajerrong Corporation) have entered into a memorandum of understanding delivering essential services in the East Kimberley.

The strategic alliance aims to "maximise opportunities and drive positive social, economic, and cultural impacts, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future for all Aboriginal peoples in the region", the organisations said this week.

The two Aboriginal community-controlled organisations currently provide social services and leverage economic opportunities to enhance the lifes of Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley.

The first collaborative initiative, funded by the Community Child Care Fund Restricted (CCCFR) Expansion (Closing the Gap) program, initiated by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the Pindan Childcare Centre will commence operation in late-2024. Wunan Foundation, in collaboration with One Tree Community Services, will oversee childcare services, while MG Corporation, owners of the site, will undertake construction.

Wunan Foundation chairperson Ian Trust said: "This is a vital service that must meet the needs of children and families, while working with related service providers."

"Our collaboration ensures culturally sensitive and impactful outcomes," he said.

In another initiative, Wunan Foundation and MG Corporation have partnered to revitalise the Kununurra Hostel, a 42-bed facility originally constructed in 2010 for remote Indigenous students. Following over 12 months of negotiations, the hostel has been repurposed to accommodate a broader range of Indigenous services and programs, supporting Indigenous youth in the community.

The facility, originally constructed in 2010 for remote Indigenous students has remained underutilised in recent years, prompting over 12 months of negotiations to repurpose the facility for community benefit. As a result, the Kununurra Hostel has successfully been reclassified more broadly to accommodate Indigenous services and programs, enabling the facility to house a range of initiatives that will promote support for Indigenous youth.

Lawford Benning of MG Corporation said the group is "pleased to partner with Wunan to reactivate the Kununurra Hostel".

"This initiative will provide much-needed support to young people entering employment or training and struggling to find affordable accommodation due to the current accomodation shortages affecting our community. We cannot understate what a significant milestone this is, and we are fully committed to delivering a sustainable operation that can maximize the potential of this great community asset."

Wunan and MG Corporation said in a joint statement that they envision numerous opportunities and projects in the East Kimberley that stand to thrive through their collaboration.

The groups say the MOU "solidifies their mutual commitment to seek out and implement initiatives aligned with their shared goal of enhancing the lives of all Aboriginal people in the region".

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