Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation, representing the Nyikina Mangala people of the Kimberley, has formally celebrated the acquisition of the pastoral lease for Myroodah Cattle Station in WA’s north-west.
Over 150 people gathered at Myroodah Station for the event last week.
Kimberley Traditional Owners have been eager to get back control of Myroodah for two decades.
Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation began working on the transfer in 2014. It was finally formalised in December last year.
Indigenous-owned Kimberley Agriculture and Pastoral Company (KAPCO) will manage the 402,000-hectare station on behalf of Traditional Owners and has bought 17,000 head of cattle from the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.
Established in 2015 by KRED Enterprises, KAPCO is made up of four pastoral stations all owned by Indigenous Australians in the northern region of Western Australia: Mt Anderson, Frazier Downs, Bohemia Downs and now Myroodah.
Across the four stations, KAPCO has a total 24,000 head of cattle.
KAPCO provides opportunities for First Nations people to train and work on country and KRED Enterprises CEO Wayne Bergmann has said there are currently 15 Indigenous Australians employed at Myroodah.
“KRED Enterprises is really proud of the achievement of establishing a business that operates on commercial terms and delivers employment, training and opportunities to Aboriginal people, which will benefit the Kimberley region as a whole,”Mr Bergmann said.
“This achievement starts the journey to bring into commercial production and scale existing Aboriginal pastoral stations. We also hope in the future, we will see flow-on effects in terms of social outcomes and other small business opportunities, such as tourism and bush food micro enterprises on areas of the station not suited for grazing.”
Walalakoo Chairperson and KAPCO Director Robert Watson said there is a long history between Indigenous people and the cattle industry in the Kimberley.
“Our old people started this journey many years ago, they were highly skilled cattlemen and the backbone of this industry,” Mr Watson said.
“Now we have the business skills to build on the knowledge they left us, and it’s time for us to take the next step and manage our own land.”
Any profits made from the business in the future is earmarked to go into a trust to benefit the Traditional Owners.
Note: KRED Enterprises CEO Wayne Bergmann is also part-owner of National Indigenous Times.