Balgo is one of Australia’s most remote Aboriginal communities, located in the south east Kimberley region of Western Australia. East Kimberley Job Pathways delivers the Remote Jobs and Communities program in the region, servicing Balgo community. We have engaged Enterprise Partnerships WA (EPWA) to support the exploration of microenterprise opportunities and entrepreneurial capacity building for women and girls in Balgo, primarily aged between 16 and 25 years.

In November, with funding from EKJP, EPWA hosted a week of workshops at the Trade Training Centre in Balgo. EPWA engaged Natasha Short of Kimberley Jiyigas to provide mentoring and leadership support to the women participating in the workshops. Natasha also worked with the women to review their achievements in 2020, and their goals and aspirations for 2021.

Over the week, the workshops focused on:

  • Women’s Leadership in Business
  • Finalising the Piriwa Op Shop Logo
  • Experimenting with Bush Products
  • Creating products for sale at the Kununurra Christmas Market Stall, supported by Kimberley Jiyigas
The Piriwa Op Shop

The Piriwa Op Shop opened in November 2020 with women helping to sort donations and price clothing, while learning about merchandising through considered arrangement and presentation of the stock. The collective profits from the Op Shop are being saved with the intent of building and continuing the strength of the business. The women involved with the Op Shop had mentoring sessions with Natasha across the week, learning ways to support the business and how they can continue to work together to make change in their community. The women expressed their desire and excitement at the prospect of more young people in the community engaging with Piriwa and learning new things. 

Leadership in Business Workshop

The Leadership in Business Workshop was led by Natasha Short, and explored areas such as the importance of teamwork in business and of women supporting women, as well as goals and aspirations for women in business in Balgo. There was also a review of the sales data from the Piriwa Op Shop which assisted with future planning for the store. 

Bush Trip

Together with Prue (Angelicare) and the Warlayirti Art Centre Staff, EPWA supported a bush trip with Elders and some young women. They went for a long drive, looking for different plants and seeds for bush products and jewellery, as well as visiting the old mission site and stopping at the dam for lunch. The women used the opportunity to socialise, spending the afternoon swapping stories and ideas in the shade.

East Kimberley Job Pathways is very proud to be involved in the delivery of this project, with a focus on activating and stimulating female entrepreneurship and togetherness in Balgo.