Mamabulanjin history


Mamabulanjin was established in 1983/84, when prominent members of the Aboriginal Community recognized the need for an organization to assist Aboriginal people and communities in various roles. They approached what was then the Department of Community Welfare (now DCD) for assistance.


The Department responded by seconding Kees Pley to work with the communities, and in turn recruit Steven Pigram from DEET to assist him. The very first office of Mamabulanjin was in front of the old Welfare building.


Kees and Steven then set about lobbying all major communities in the Kullarri Region and in a short time had signed up all the chairpersons as the inaugural members of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation. Peter Yu became the first CEO. After finally becoming incorporated on 02 August 1985 Mamabulanjin moved into the old NAC office in Dampier Terrace and recruited Sandra Darcy and Johari Bin Denim to fill other rolls in the organization.

In 1986 Mamabulanjin was successful in its application for CDEP Funds to build its own office. Paddy Roe (Dec.) who was a big supporter of the organization offered land to Mamabulanjin for its new office complex. Mamabulanjin then obtained a 99 year lease from the Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) for the land where the office is now situated.

The new office was then built by a local indigenous work crew who made mud bricks then put it all together with the assistance of a qualified builder. This was a great achievement as all labourers involved were long term unemployed people.

Once in the new office Mamabulanjin continued to grow rapidly, most of the government agencies began to jump on board and the organization quickly earned a good reputation for its work within the Aboriginal Community.

In the late 80’s Mamabulanjin became a vessel for the creation of Aboriginal organizations such as Jalyurr Guwan Child care Centre, BAMA, BMAC and Magabala Books. Mamabulanjin also purchased ownership of the Broome In Door Cricket Centre in the 80’s.

In the 90’s Mamabulanjin set up its Community Development Unit (CDU) which worked throughout the communities.

Mamabulanjin also became a grantee organization for CDEP Funds in the late 90’s. It was also during this period that Mamabulanjin became ATSICS preferred grantee organization for all its housing and infrastructure funds. Homes west also funded the SHAP program during this period.

Into the new millennium Mamabulanjin continued to grow and expand its services. The establishment of the field service crew, Aboriginal Tours and Kullarri Patrol all complemented the existing services.

Mamabulanjin future directions is one of the diversifications and expansions in such areas such as: joint ventures and partnership, not only with the fellow groups in the Kullarri Region but also with major service providers such as ARUP and Partners, Parsons Brickerfoff, and more recently with Energy Generation Proprietary Limited.

In 2005/06 Mamabulanjin was approached by the Department of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FACSIA), also the Department of housing and works (DHW). To deliver housing & municipal services to Dampier Peninsula outstations. This request has now progressed to include housing management services and Nillir Irbanjin (One Mile) & Mallingbarr (Kennedy Hill).

Going into an uncertain future always plays heavily on the minds of the senior staff and Committee, and keeping up with Government changes to policy and how they plan to deliver services to Indigenous people only makes our jobs all the more difficult.