Kimberley Community Grants (video transcript)

This is a transcript of our Kimberley Community Grants video.

[Voice over] My name is Caroline Vigar and I'm the Team Leader for the Change'Em Ways and the Change'Em Ways is an indigenous men's behaviour change program which has been developed to address the family violence issues that we have up here in the Kimberley.

When we realised just how critical it was to have a women's program, we also realised that we didn't have the funding to be able to resource it the way it needed to be resourced.

My name's Paul Beard. I'm the Operations Manager here at Water Corporation in Broome we cover the West Kimberley up to Derby and Fitzroy Crossing and Camballin.

I'm here today to talk about the Kimberley Community Grants Scheme which receives funds from our operation out of Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant.

We came up with the idea of partnership with the local Lions Club and creating a Community Grants Scheme.

Part of the process out there is to treat the wastewater and then dispose of it and it's disposed of on some irrigation pivots.

So we grow Rhodes grass as a crop. That's a grass that's great for cattle fodder.

So we irrigate the crops with the treated wastewater, turn it into hay, sell it to local farmers and the funds that we get from that we give back to the community.

One of the groups that received funding through the Grant Scheme was a wildlife rehabilitation group called Native Animal Rescue Broome and we received some money to buy some equipment which lifted our profile out in the community.

So we not only do wildlife rescue and rehabilitation but we undertake educational displays. So we do a lot of displays at schools, community groups.

Just having that extra equipment and lifting that professionalism up was a great advantage to us.

So far we've given about a $110,000 away to 20 different organizations across the West Kimberley.

This year is the fourth round of funding and we're opening up to the wider Kimberley which means that we'll be able to help even more organizations and schools in the area execute projects that mean something to them.

So we're really excited about providing even more funding to successful applicants in the Kimberley and broadening the communities that we can help through this Grants Program.

The funding that we got from the Water Corporation was used to support cultural activities for the woman's program that we run.

We were able to engage an Aboriginal elder, a woman who's incredibly well-known and respected in the community and we were able to engage her to come out on country with us with the women for the day. Then what we would do is we would bring the women back to here, to talk about their cultural history; to talk about their connections, not just with the land, but also with each other. So that they can then go into that other space where they start to talk about that really hard conversation about what family violence is.

We're out there trying to educate people saying, "Look, live with wildlife. Enjoy it but don't hurt it." And that's a great achievement when we can get that message through especially the kids at the primary schools love it.

They're the ones you can work on and, you know, tomorrow's generation is the ones that will actually make things happen.

This Scheme's really important for the Water Corporation because it allows us to engage with our communities on a deeper level and we can actually give back to the community groups themselves because I think that it empowers them. It gets their ideas from a grassroots level and we give them the funds to execute it so we're allowing the community to identify their issue or their needs and we help make that possible.

I'm really proud of what we've achieved as a team.

We've given over $110,000 back into our community that we live in.

It's a great Grant Scheme. It's a first for the Water Corporation. We're really proud to be part of it here in Broome.