They’ll make a Western Australian out of me yet

Host: Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development — Aboriginal Business Development Project
Written by Daisy Goodwin, Development Officer

Nine months in to my move across the other side of the country and I’m still learning. You may have seen my first post in April when I first moved to WA. It’s been five months since then and boy have I learnt some things! From combating heatstroke and all the animals and insects, driving ten hours and sleeping in a swag for the first time, it’s been a blast!

I am now super settled into my new job as a Development Officer for the Aboriginal Business Development (ABD) project at the Department of Agriculture. Oh wait, didn’t you hear, we are the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development now (no . . . I didn’t forget!)

After a few months on the job, I participated on a supply chain tour with Beemurra Aboriginal Corporation from Yallalie Farm. You can read about it in my post earlier on in the week. Coming from small scale farming in Tweed Heads, NSW, the tour was as much, if not more beneficial for me, as the team from Yallalie. We had the opportunity to get a tour of one of WA’s largest abattoirs. Visiting an abattoir has been something I have wanted to do for a long time now. Yep, I’m vegan (not a strict one) who works with cattle and wanted to go to an abattoir . . . confusing. Hey, I love cattle and am lactose intolerant, it’s all good. The abattoir was amazing experience. You don’t realise how big cattle are until they’re hanging down on an automated fast-moving conveyor belt that almost hits you in the face. Everyone I was with had a good laugh at me staring at the ground trying not to faint and jumping when I realised everything in the offal room was still moving.

Beemurra Aboriginal Corporation members, Max Cunnington (Stock West), and ABD members (I’m second from the right!)

Next trip I was off to Kununurra to do corporate governance training with East Kimberley Cattle (EKC) Company made of four individual Aboriginal managed properties. It was my first time in the Kimberley – boy it’s hot! Members of EKC sat there in jeans telling me how cold they were because it was winter, I think not.

Impressed with Harry from EKC’s new tractor!

I had six hours to kill before my flight home so I thought I would go for a walk up to Kelly’s Knob. Forgetting I was in the Kimberley, I left at midday and somehow got lost and walked 3km before I even got to the carpark at the bottom of the park. Heatstroke aside, it was beautiful, a real mini Bungle Bungles. Moving forward a few months and it was time to make my move to Broome! I’d soon be working with Indigenous pastoral properties throughout the Kimberley (and getting a tan).

Kelly’s Knob.

First time seeing a Boab!

I’ve been in Broome for three weeks now and have transitioned to “Broome-time” completely. If I have to drive over five minutes I get frustrated (unless its ten hours for work, that’s okay, makes sense right?) and last night it was 26 degrees and I had goosebumps. I’d been wondering why I hadn’t been getting any mail when I was informed that no one here has letter boxes and I’d have to get a PO box. I went camping at Cape Levique on the weekend with my natural bug spray in hand. With the knowledge that almost everyone in my office has Ross River, I quickly succumbed and asked a mate for the Bushman’s. I swam in water only to find out after that a croc had been spotted there earlier that morning. Oh and I slept in a swag for the very first time! I’m also getting incredibly used to driving alongside fires, something I never thought I’d say. I reckon I can almost say I’m a Broomey . . . maybe not just yet.

Woke up like this.