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How a group of mates came together to help Aboriginal artists in the Kimberley return young people to country.

[caption id="attachment_372045" align="aligncenter" width="2667"] Mangkaja Circle of Friends funds artists to take young people onto country.[/caption]

In 2014 I had the deep privilege of attending the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC) Festival in Jarlmadangah, WA, a bus trip away from Broome. I was part of a group of philanthropic and academic folk who were invited to attend through the initiative of James Boyd, State Manager WA/SA for Creative Partnerships Australia, and Wes Morris, Coordinator of KALACC. We were treated to the most incredible hospitality, learnings and a view of Kimberley communities that most of us city slickers never get to see or know much about. It was fast-track cultural learning for me, wide-eyed and interested, but inexperienced in both the place and the culture.

I was invited to observe meetings where hundreds of women grappled with how to deal with the suicide of their young people. I watched as different groups worked painstakingly through democratic processes, and enjoyed incredibly special dancing and singing…

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