Since 2017, FISH has worked with Aboriginal groups and local businesses in the South West Region through a co-design process to develop a detailed program that will give Aboriginal people aged 16-35 a place to heal and receive holistic support to break intergenerational cycles of trauma, avoid (re)engagement in the justice system and contribute positively to society.
To achieve this, FISH has acquired an 11ha site for development in Myalup. After many visits to get to know the site and finally camping on the land with a group of cultural elders, the site and program have been named “Myalup Karla Waanginy”. In local language, “Myalup” means “meeting place”; being a point where the Bindjareb and Widandi people would come together. “Karla” means “fire” and “waanginy” means “talking/yarning”. Fire yarning has always been a powerful practice for healing the spirit, strengthening group bonds and forming a deep connection to land.
Myalup Karla Waanginy will be a multipurpose site with a focus on healing, education, justice rehabilitation and Aboriginal social enterprise, making the program economically self-sustaining. The site will be developed as a national prototype to bring change throughout Australia, and will include the following:
- Agro-innovation through aquaponics, horticulture, traditional food & medicine;
- Education & training;
- Manufacturing utilising a downstream product of straw and/or hemp herd from the local industry to make straw-bale and/or hemp housing panels;
- Building construction & maintenance;
- Landscaping & grounds maintenance;
- Food & beverage hospitality;
- Rehabilitation, mentoring & healing for Aboriginal people engaged in the justice system.
We look forward to providing updates on this initiative as it unfolds!