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BASSA opens up on success

20 November 2019

This month the wider Broome community was given an inside look at the success of the Broome Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation with a Community Open Day.

This month the wider Broome community was given an inside look at the success of the Broome Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation with a Community Open Day.

Held on November 4, the day was an opportunity to show the Broome community the work the BASSA team has achieved in providing a culturally safe and secure environment for guests since opening in December last year.

BASSA is managed by MercyCare in collaboration with local organisations Centacare Kimberley, Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation and Nyamba Buru Yawuru traditional owners.

Up to November 6, BASSA has provided accommodation to 2352 guests from more than 100 locations. More than 18,627 bed nights have been provided with 30 per cent repeat users.

MercyCare CEO Anthony Smith joined the hard-working team and partners in Broome for the day to support their efforts and sign a Strategic Statement of Intent with the partners.

“BASSA is a great example of what can be achieved when we partner and closely collaborate with local organisations. By providing a culturally safe and secure environment for our guests at BASSA we provide a much-needed service to the Aboriginal community in the West Kimberley and the broader Broome community,” Anthony said.

The Open day included open room viewing, Welcome to Country from Dianne Appleby, a performance from Yawuru Woman Anne-Jeanette Philips in collaboration with students from the Girls Academy arm of Broome Senior High School, and storytelling by Edwin Mulligan.

Local artist Emma Sibosado’s beautiful voice was enjoyed over lunch in the BASSA gardens.

As well as providing information on the facilities and programs offered by BASSA, information stalls were offered by North Regional Tafe; the legal team from Legal Aid WA, Kimberley Legal Services and Aboriginal Family Law Services; Helping Minds; the community development team from Nyamba Buru Yawuru; Centacare Kimberley and Jalygurr Guwan and Our Mob Playgroup with crèche activities.

BASSA is a 44-room facility that includes 12 family and 12 disability rooms with ensuites, and 20 single and double rooms that share a large ablution block. Facilities include a laundry, barbecue area and children’s playground.

MercyCare has worked closely with partner, Nyamba Buru Yawuru traditional owners, to ensure BASSA is culturally safe for its guests. This is achieved in a number of ways, including:

  • Traditional owners, the Yawuru people, undertake quarterly smoking ceremonies in all the rooms and communal areas in and around BASSA to ward off bad spirits and create a bright future for the guests.
  • All BASSA staff undergo cultural immersion training through our partners, Nyamba Buru Yawuru.
  • BASSA has invested in artwork from local indigenous artists, including the screening around the accommodation featuring local features like boab trees and goannas to provide a familiar and beautiful environment.
  • BASSA was designed to feature communal outdoor areas for guests to connect, and the playground for the children focuses on nature play.
  • BASSA has embraced an underpinning cultural philosophy of Mabu Liyan, used by the traditional owners, the Yawuru people. Mabu Liyan, which means having good wellbeing and strong spirit that is positively connected to everything important in life, including community, family, culture and country, is used by the staff to create a space that has a good feeling and positive spirit. By employing this philosophy, and a close and meaningful relationship with cultural advisors Nyamba Buru Yawuru, each staff member strives to provide culturally safe environment and service.
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