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Yawuru future planning
Yawuru man Peter Yu outlines 4 priorities for Yawuru in rebuilding their nation into the future.1Peter Yu, “Rebuilding the Yawuru Nation,” in Developing Governance and Governing Development: International Case Studies of Indigenous Futures, eds. Diane Smith, Alice Wighton, Stephen Cornell and Adam Vai Delaney (Maryland: Rowan & Littlefield, 2021), 241-247. Each of these priorities is focused on the long-term growth and well-being of the Yawuru people:
Intergeneration transfer of Yawuru cultural knowledge
Yawuru have been ensuring the survival of their language and cultural knowledge through the Yawuru Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Healing Centre, opened in 2019. The Centre focuses on the revitalisation of Yawuru culture and language through cultural and community development programs.
“It [the centre] will also provide an opportunity for senior and young Yawuru people to work together to develop an understanding of the value of mabu liyan and to ensure the transmission of knowledge and understanding of such Yawuru language terms.”
Investment in Yawuru young people
Developing the potential of their young people and nurturing their cultural identity is an important element of Yawuru nation building. Yawuru run an annual Youth Forum and offer youth scholarships that help mentor and support the next generation of Yawuru leaders.
“We recognise that investing in our young people is absolutely critical to transforming the old deficit discourse and achieving intergenerational change.”
Individual and collective wealth generation
Strategic investment of the monetary benefits received from their native title agreement has enabled Yawuru to pursue self-determined economic development. Their income generation strategies include a housing development model, the Yawuru Ranger Program, and the commercial operation of the Roebuck Plains Station, located 30 kilometers east of Broome. Each strategy focused on long-term cultural and environmental sustainability.
Building leadership for intergenerational growth and stability
In their work of nation-building, Yawuru recognise a need for leadership that can deliver stability and prosperity for future generations.
“Leadership is key to our social and economic transformation. We must rebuild the foundations of cultural knowledge and respect and integrate that into Yawuru contemporary governance, while at the same time develop the agility and resilience necessary to leverage opportunities to secure the economic future of our people in the emerging economy. This calls for a particular kind of public-spirited leadership, one that puts mabu liyan and the well-being of our people ahead of self-interest.”