Indigenous corporation bolsters its numbers thanks to new HQ funding

11 May 2023

After an extensive search for suitable office space, the Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation (WAC) has found the perfect fit for their new headquarters in Derby, Western Australia.

The WAC has been searching for a fit-for-purpose building to meet the organisation’s needs in a regional and remote market, which often lacks suitable and affordable office space.

Wilinggin Country encompasses 63,000 sq km of the eastern Kimberley region in Western Australia and is the traditional land of the Ngarinyin people.

With such a large amount of Country to care for, the WAC has expanded from two to 24 permanent staff in the last four years alone. With staff numbers expected to bolster in the coming years, the urgency for a new fit-for-purpose HQ has been critical for the organisation to thrive. The new space in Derby will only enhance this ability.

The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) is backing the WAC by providing support and significant partial funding for the acquisition of a building at 37 Rowan Street, Derby – soon to be known as the new home of the WAC.

ILSC Group Chief Executive Officer, Joe Morrison, said the ILSC was more than happy to invest the funds for the acquisition of a new headquarters for the WAC to enhance their capabilities to care for Country now and for future generations.

“Returning and managing Country to Indigenous people and Indigenous organisations is at the core of what we do at the ILSC,” said Mr Morrison.

“This building will be vital for the Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation and will assist in the delivery of their organisational objectives.

“However, the real asset is the Ngarinyin peoples’ continued knowledge of their land. It’s their lived experiences with the land that connects them to place. This is an asset that cannot be bought or sold.”

Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation Board Chair, Nelson O’Reeri, said he would like to sincerely thank the ILSC for its generous contribution of $1 million towards the Wilinggin Office in Derby.

“The contribution comes at a time of essential need for a solid base to do Wilinggin’s operational and governance work for the betterment of the Ngarinyin people and Country,” said Mr O’Reeri.

While Derby is not on Wilinggin Country, support was given from the two traditional owner groups, Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation and Warrwa People Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

The WAC have re-located into the office space with settlement already in place.

A Wilinggin Aboriginal Corporation ranger. Image: Robin Dann.

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