The Kimberley region of Western Australia is an ancient land that has been inhabited by our first people for over 40,000 years. It is a very spiritual place which is recognised as one of the last remaining places of the globe that is in a very pristine condition. It is seen as a place of enormous potential.
Australian's, West Australians and people from all over the world who've had the opportunity to experience the region, are captivated by its uniqueness and many have become passionate about its future.
Broome is on the West Kimberley coast with the largest population in the region. It has evolved to become the major centre with strong links to the other parts of the Kimberley, such as Derby, Kununurra, Wyndham, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek as well as numerous outlying Aboriginal communities, pastoral stations, onshore oil and gas, and mining operations. More recently as offshore oil and gas has been discovered, Broome has become a centre of activity for this industry. In the last few years there has been some uncertainty as to the role that Broome would play in the future with this industry as major players are looking at floating LNG rather than an onshore processing facility.
It was a combination of the passion that a group of people hold for Broome and the Kimberley and the uncertainty of the future of the region, that resulted in a group of like-minded citizens from Broome and Perth agreeing in 2013 to establish an organisation known as Broome Future.
Broome Future is apolitical, not a lobbying, organisation which uses evidence-based research to analyse the capacity of Broome to support the region as the major logistics hub and service centre. Funding of the research has been thanks to the generosity of individuals and organisations that share the passion for the Kimberley region and Broome. There has been no financial assistance from any level of government.
The first major initiative has been the report Unlocking the Door, undertaken on behalf of Broome Future by Australian Venture Consultants. It is a very comprehensive analysis of the feasibility of Broome becoming a logistics hub and service centre for the Kimberley. There is acknowledgement that any development requires a sensible balance between the environment, social and economic needs.
The report has involved extensive consultation and provides a framework for all key stakeholders to work together in a coordinated way, recognising the need for balance.
This is the start of a journey that will see Broome and the Kimberley playing a very important role in the twenty first century which is The Asian Century.
I commend the report to anyone who has an interest in this region.
I would like to thank all those involved in the creation of Broome Future for their commitment to taking a long-term holistic strategic approach to the future of Broome and the Kimberley region.
Further, I would like to thank those who have made a financial contribution to Broome Future and encourage those who wish to be part of the journey to become members.
Dr Ken Michael AC Chairman Broome Future
As illustrated conceptually in the diagram below, the vision, purpose and mission of Broome Future is framed by a core aspect of the cultural values of the Yawuru People, the traditional owners of the land on which Broome and its surrounds are now located, known as liyan, as well as conventional Western principles that ensure Broome Future’s vision, purpose and mission are achieved effectively and maintain good liyan.
‘Liyan relates to Yawuru and other Aboriginal people’s view of their well-being. The way they feel about themselves and their relationships with their community and the wider world. It is about relationships, family, community and what gives meaning to people’s lives. Yawuru people’s connection to country and joy of celebrations, our culture and society is fundamental to having good liyan. When we feel disrespected or abused out liyan is bad, which can be insidious and corrosive for both the individual and community’.
- Patrick Dodson
The Kimberley Region and Broome will be internationally recognised as a desirable location to live, visit and undertake commerce and trade by virtue of its strategic location, as well as its unique cultural diversity, biodiversity, breathtaking natural environment and natural resources.
To ensure that Broome and the Kimberley Region is presented with every opportunity to prosper and grow into a thriving regional centre in the Indian Ocean Rim, utilising the significant attributes of the Region whilst preserving the unique and diverse culture and environment that is characteristic of the Region.
Create a community-owned, evidence-based aspirational vision as to what the Kimberley Region and Broome will develop into in the 21st Century, the Asian Century.
A gas processing facility development proposed at a site approximately 60 kilometres north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula highlighted the complexity of economic development in the Kimberley to a degree that seemingly few expected. Over the course of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, advocacy, protests and blockades related to the proposed development drew interests from a wide range of stakeholders and somewhat overshadowed what would have been a landmark development for the Kimberley. The issue resulted in significant social divide in the town of Broome and other parts of the West Kimberley region.
While the James Price Point development did not ultimately proceed for economic reasons, it clearly demonstrated that regional development ‘as usual’ would be unlikely to work in the Kimberley.
In recognition of this, in mid-2013, a group of business and community leaders with a passion for Broome and the Kimberley, decided to form Broome Future, an organisation that would endeavour to produce evidence-based analysis to better understand the context in which development occurs in the Kimberley and Broome’s role in providing capacity and leadership in that development, ultimately providing the community with a tool for planning and executing on its future.