Yiriman Women Bush Enterprises is a social enterprise project focusing cultural health, bush foods, art, design, on Country experiences in the Kimberley,Western Australia.
The Yiriman Project is an intergenerational, ‘on-country’ cultural program, conceived and developed directly by elders from four Kimberley language groups – Nyikina, Mangala, Karajarri and Walmajarri. Our stated aim is to ‘build stories in young people’.
The Yiriman Project has distinct men’s and women’s programs. For Yiriman women, one of the important long-term parts of our program has been the Sustainable Wild Harvest Initiative which we started in 2005.
Since this time, Yiriman women have undertaken many skills development activities which have included using knowledge of bush plants and how this knowledge can be used to generate new business opportunities. This has included the production of jewellery using plant seeds and production of a number of skin care products from raw materials harvested on country by women and girls.
This work on enterprise opportunities based on Yiriman women’s knowledge was progressing at the time there were significant threats to withdraw government-funded services from remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. This placed the spotlight on the viability and sustainability of remote communities.
In 2015, the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre drafted a business case for building culturally based sustainable futures in remote communities through the Yiriman Project. At the heart of this case was to explore the potential of utilising women’s bush knowledge and bush harvest to create new economic opportunities for people living in remote communities.
In 2017 a Business Development Plan was prepared based on the Yiriman Women’s prior experience and a thorough process of exploring ideas and priorities for enterprise activity.
2018 brings this vision to reality. The Yiriman Women Social Enterprise project is auspiced by KALACC, and under the development support of Bridging the Landscapes and Impact Seed.