About Wunan 

 Wunan Foundation is an Aboriginal development organisation in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. 

Wunan Foundation operates with a clear purpose and strategy to drive long-term socio- economic change for Aboriginal people by providing real opportunities, investing in people’s abilities, and by encouraging and rewarding aspiration and self-responsibility. 

Our efforts are guided by the philosophy that Aboriginal success grows from investing in people’s ability, real opportunity, and reward for effort.

Wunan’s purpose is to ensure that Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley enjoy the capabilities and opportunities they need to make positive choices that lead to independent and fulfilling lives. 

Our programs span across our strategic priorities to improve the lives of Aboriginal people while our social enterprises are spread across the hospitality, health and wellbeing, business accounting, research and evaluation, and maintenance industries. 

Wunan has created long-lasting partnerships with the community, business sector, and Government to make the East Kimberley a place where Aboriginal people can look forward to building a stronger and more independent future for themselves. 

‘Wunan’ is a traditional cultural practice of Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley in which fair trade occurs which also encompasses caring and sharing.

The “Wunan” name was officially adopted for the East Kimberley region by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in 1990. This extract from Wyndham Yella Fella by Reginald Birch, a founding director of Wunan Foundation, helps to explain its meaning: 

“A group of Aboriginal men appeared out of nowhere…symbolically marked in vivid white ochre and a burnt red like the very rocks of the Kimberley. The messengers carried huge bundles of ochre-coloured bamboo. This ritual was called ‘Wunan’… a traditional distribution of wealth, a bartering. A means of caring and sharing — Aboriginal currency.”

Birch, Reginald (2003) Wyndham Yella Fella, Magabala Books, Broome WA, p153.

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