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How We Began

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An Aboriginal Resource Agency providing support services to communities in the Fitzroy River Valley of WA’s Kimberley district, the Marra Worra Worra Aboriginal Corporation is based in Fitzroy Crossing.  Marra Worra Worra was the first resource agency established in the Kimberley.  It began in the second half of the 1970’s as a forum for discussion and cooperation between communities of the area then engaged in a regional community development program.

The first employee was a part time bookkeeper in 1978, providing basic financial services to the seven affiliated communities.  From these beginnings Marra Worra Worra has grown and developed hand in hand with the communities it services.  Marra Worra Worra was incorporated in 1981; in 1984 it acquired its own land base – a town reserve formerly held by the State’s Department for Community Welfare; and in 1985 it occupied its own office on this reserve.  Until the beginning of 1985 Marra Worra Worra survived almost entirely on contributions and fees for services from member communities.

Today, it is a major service provider in the Kimberley having delivered many services over the past few years including Municipal, CDEP, Essential Services and Housing Maintenance.

By 1993 the continuing progress of land claims and outstation development, in which Marra Worra Worra has been closely involved, had seen the original seven communities increase to approximately thirty-four.  Support provided to communities is wide ranging, from financial, governance and administrative assistance to the provision of CDEP and Housing services.

Training of local staff and community members is an important aspect of all Marra Worra Worra’s work.  Though at times it is a struggle against the administrative and bureaucratic requirements of the system, Marra Worra Worra has always tried to maintain a community oriented, developmental approach to its work.  In recent years much effort has gone into the establishment of a community development unit within Marra Worra Worra to promote this approach.

The other important aspect of Marra Worra Worra in addition to the support services it provides to communities, according to each one’s need, has been its role as a forum for Aboriginal people of the region to discuss and act on issues of common concern.  Particularly in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when Aboriginal activism in the Kimberley was at its peak, Marra Worra Worra was an important voice in issues such as the Noonkanbah/Amax dispute, land rights, and Aboriginal police relations.  The Board of Directors who represent all local language groups around Fitzroy are responsible for both the management of the organisation, and this wider role as a political voice.


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