Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program: Marcia Czerniak – Week four and five

19 December 2019

We continue to follow the Department of Education’s Marcia Czerniak as she takes part in the Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnership Program.

Marcia has been placed with Nyamba Buru Yawuru in Broome and has been sharing her stories and experiences with us each week. This is her recap of weeks four and five.


Weeks four and five:

“As I sit here eating a mango for lunch on this hazy, dusty and stormy Saturday afternoon I realise that this time next week, I will be fastening my seatbelt on the plane back home to Perth.

While I have been missing my dogs like crazy this last week, leaving here will be pretty sad.

The last two weeks seem to have been a bit of a blur of routine mixed with some watercolour sunsets.

Some people said, ‘Oh, that will be a nice holiday for you’ when they heard I was coming up to Broome and then quickly followed up with something about Matso’s.

Yes, I have had a great time, but this secondment has not been a holiday. We all have projects to work on and with one week to go, the pressure is on to get them finished.

In my time at Yawuru, I feel like I have gained insights into things I never would have known had it not been for this program; both professionally and personally.

Outside of work, we have had a great few weeks too.

I have gone to a mango festival quiz night that sadly had no mangoes (nor any questions about mangoes). I cooked lasagne for the ladies at work using the family recipe that Nonna taught my Mum and my Mum taught me. I attended a Christmas get-together with the parents and children of Yawuru’s HIPPY program and even made my own coloured pasta wreath. I ate my fair share of home grown mangoes and I had the best mango smoothie of my life.

It has been great, and they are all things that have helped give me a little bit more of an understanding of the dynamics of Broome. Because when you sit and think about it all, it is a pretty interesting place.

It is like there is this social dichotomy running throughout the town. When many people think of Broome, it’s probably fair to say they think of Cable Beach; one of Australia’s premium tourism destinations with sunset camel rides, luxury accommodation and cocktails overlooking the pristine white sand and beautiful blue water.

This is a contrast to the suburb just a few streets back and some of the serious issues the town and greater Kimberley are facing; such as having the highest rate of suicide in Australia.

Tourism here is such a drawcard, but it makes you wonder; how many people see it for more than that famous beach or those pearls?

Every Monday and Friday we have a secondee catch up to chat about the week ahead and the week that has been. One of the things we share are highlights of the week. It can be anything; from something at work, something we did, to something we ate.

While eating some of the best tasting mangoes I have ever eaten is definitely a highlight for me! When I think back over the past five weeks, with only one week to go, the conversations I have had have been the real highlights. Conversations with people that have shared parts of their lives, thoughts and experiences with me.

For me, sunsets and ginger beer come and go. But real conversations and connections with people… well, they are the memories that last."


Page last updated 19 December 2019