With over 100 people in attendance, the Broome Makers Cluster Muster held on June 29 at Jimmy Chi Hall in the Broome Civic Centre, was an event with a difference. “Key players engaged at the Broome Makers Cluster Muster for the first time eagerly approached working towards a shared vision. Traditional owners, local government, business owners, environmental groups, teachers, young entrepreneurs, social service and government representatives and others all [came] together and of itself is a great early stage sign of change,” enthused Kimberley Development Commission Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Gooding.
Welcomed to Yawuru Country by Dianne Appleby, attendees were reminded about the values and meaning of a shared place, culture and history. And following this, addresses from Shire President, Ron Johnston and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Peter Yu, both conveyed how important it is that the diversity of people and communities of Broome and the Dampier Peninsula continue to grow together in a way that creates sustainable and equitable outcomes that benefit all.
To a backdrop of lively tunes played by local musician Ginger Cox, attendees started the day by voting on the Broome Makers Competition People’s Choice Award. The Broome Makers Competition aimed to identify the next generation of the Kimberley’s bright innovators and the diversity of business ideas submitted by youth and older budding entrepreneurs, meant voters had a tough choice in selecting their favourite idea.
The event program then moved from applauding local innovation to drawing on inspiration, hearing from a range of presenters – including global leading demographer and spatial analyst, Dr Brad Stelfox and Broome Growth Plan lead consultant Allan Tranter – who outlined the guiding principles and key economic, social and environmental considerations for the Broome Growth Planning process. Group work at each table ensued, gaining input from eager participants on how future investment should be distributed and what needs to happen across the areas of governance, policy, funding and monitoring and evaluation to responsibly manage the growth and sustainability of Broome and surrounding communities.
Both a participant and speaker at the event, Shire President Ron Johnston said, “It was a great day with broad involvement. People were very engaged in positive discussions about the future of Broome, with people coming together around what’s important. A highlight of the day was the Broome Makers Competition awards. The calibre of ideas for new enterprises was outstanding, with our young entrepreneurs stealing the limelight with the energy and enthusiasm to get new businesses going.”
As the Cluster Muster came to a close, there was a palpable sense of energy around the room as people solidified their commitment to continue working together to achieve great outcomes through the Broome Growth Planning process. At the end Ginger Cox returned to play his music and as the last note faded, the feeling was that although the Cluster Muster had finished for the day, a community ‘mustering’ effort towards the delivery of a shared vision for the future had been reinvigorated with an even deeper sense of passion and purpose.