Arguably, the greatest achievement to date has been the exchange of cultural learning between Mowanjum and Boab Network folk and has underpinned the development of firm friendships and a trusting relationship.
Ross Gobby summed up the Boab Network’s aims as “relationships, relationships, relationships”. The Boab Network recognises the importance of developing meaningful relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Two-way learning is an essential part of developing authentic relationships.
“Aboriginal people have a complex culture to explain. – to sends kids off to school it is not enough. The Boab Network have been a great help. It has been a two way learning.” – Kirsty Burgu
“The Boab Network has given my community so much support, so much guidance. I don’t know how to thank them enough for what they have given.” – Leah Umbagai
The Op Shop gives the Mowanjum people access to inexpensive clothing and household goods. Led by Claire Smith, donated merchandise is collected and freighted up from Perth by Boab Network volunteers to stock the shop. Lost property is collected from HBF Stadium and Beatty Park Aquatic Centre for the Op Shop. The Op Shop is managed by members of the Community. The Opshop is currently closed pending a move into an updated new building and is expected to reopen in 2022 as a bigger and better site for community shopping.
3Administrative, Community and Cultural Support
Boab Network volunteers assist, when asked, to prepare grant applications and to advise on matters of governance to instrumentalities of the Mowanjum community. They are also actively involved in supporting Mowanjum folk who may be visiting Perth for medical or other appointments. They assist with the annual cultural festival and running of the Arts and Cultural Centre.
“We wouldn’t have got the resource centre if it were not for the Boab Network, the early learning centre, the op shop, the pastoral station. … saved us a fortune in dollars, enabled us to move forward with all these possibilities. He has been a real asset for the community.” – Steve Austin (Mowanjum CEO 2017-2019)