Community Profiles

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools program is currently operating within six remote Aboriginal communities located in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia.

Burringurrah

Burringurrah is a remote Aboriginal community in the Shire of the Upper Gascoyne, located approximately 480km east of Carnarvon, and 300 km from Meekatharra. The community became an incorporated body in 1999 and currently boasts a population ranging from 150 to 200 people.

Community facilities include a school, which provides for approximately 60 students ranging from pre-primary to high school level, a general store, swimming pool facility, telecentre, administration office, women’s centre, youth centre and sports oval.

Bidyadanga

Bidyadanga is a coastal town situated on La Grange Bay in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 250km south of Broome and is the traditional land of the Karrajarri. The population of Bidyadanga is around 800 people, making it one of the largest Aboriginal communities in the state.

Bidyadanga is the Karrajarri language word for Emu — which means pijarta or bidyada. It means place where emu was killed.

The community was originally established as a ‘drying out’ station for Indigenous people and is now active in activities such as pearl and shell collection. Fishing is also a popular pastime of the community with a number of creeks and beaches close by.

Fitzroy Crossing

Fitzroy Crossing is one of only two towns along the 1000km Great Northern Highway between Broome and Kununurra. The community is located 114m above sea level on the banks of the Fitzroy River, 2524 from Perth. It is situated in the heart of some of the best pastoral country in Australia, with mining and tourism as other interests.

Around 1,500 people reside in the Fitzroy Crossing community with a further 2,000 or so people living in around 50 communities scattered throughout the Fitzroy Valley. Bunuba are the traditional owners for the country on which Fitzroy Crossing sits. However, within the Fitzroy Valley there are a number of language groups.

Tourism, cattle stations and mining are the main industries in the area.

Jigalong

Jigalong is an Aboriginal community located 170km east of Newman and is on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The town and surrounding area is home to the Martu people, where the population fluctuates between 100 and 500 — depending on the time of year and activities in the community.

The Martu people manage the community and still maintain their traditional values and culture.

In recent years, the community is perhaps most well known for the ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ which was made into a movie and premiered at the Jigalong Community School in 2002. The movie follows the story of local Aboriginal girl Molly Craig who trekked 1600km from Moore River back to Jigalong.

Warmun

Warmun is a small Aboriginal community, 860km east of Broome and 200km south of Kununurra in the far north of Western Australia. It was known as Turkey Creek for many years, but has now reverted back to the Aboriginal name for the area.

The community is home to nearly 600 people, mainly Gija speakers, but also includes Aboriginal people from other language groups. In addition, the community is one of the principal access points to the beautiful Purnululu National Park and the famous Bungle Bungles.

Yandeyarra

Yandeyarra is a remote Aboriginal community located in the Pilbara region 130km south of Port Hedland and is situated on a working cattle station — Yandeyarra Station. The community name is actually Mugarinya however maps of the area nearly always refer to the community as Yandeyarra.

Yandeyarra has a community population of 250–300 people. Kariyarra is the language for the area but Nyangumarta is the most widely spoken language.

 

 

  

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Yandeyarra Remote Pool

Fitzroy Crossing Remote Pool

image of 3 aboriginal girls with faces painted smiling at the camera

Image of Bernie Egan and Rita standing by the pool at Bidyadanga

Bernie's Story

Bidyadanga Remote Pool Manager Bernie Egan is keen to ensure remote aboriginal families learn Swim and Survive skills