The 2022 Strong Women Business Gathering is an opportunity for all women and girls across the Kimberley to come together to connect, create and collaborate over two days.
Join us at Birdwood Downs Station for over 30 hands-on workshops, story-telling, film-screenings, photography exhibitions, fashion, markets, music and food!
Spaces to Connect, Create and Collaborate
Artists from the Kimberley Arts Network and Barooloo Arts will facilitate a collective mural project and we invite everyone to pick up a brush and make your mark. The mural will reflect our individual and group experiences at the Gathering. Bring a cuppa. Stay for minute or stay for hours.
Have something you want to share or a conversation you’d like to have?
The yarning space is a self-facilitated space for women and girls to come together and talk. To sign up, write your name and topic on the blackboard at the space!
Under Big Sky
Saturday 25th June: 5pm till late
Event open to public
We're opening up to the pubic for a family friendly Saturday evening event.
Bring your camp chair or picnic blanket and enjoy a night of live entertainment under big sky.
A special sunset performance by the Wananami Remote Community School performing Junba.
Then kick up dust to deadly female artists from across the Kimberley, including:
Noonie and Lucy
Natalie Davey (soundscape)
Night Markets: Buy local products from female owned and operated businesses from across the region.
Feed: Food and drinks from local businesses available for purchase.
A quiet space to sit and weave. Self-facilitated or learn from a master.
The weaving space will be hosted by the women of Walibirri Medijin Arts – a group of medijin and art makers from Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Walmajarri and Nyikina Countries. We teach our families and other people our crafts and how to make medijins. We also travel to markets to sell our products and teach workshops.
Our raffia has been ethically sourced by String Harvest.
UNDER BIG SKY: Artists
Wananami Remote Community School
The Wananami Dancers are a group of school aged students (4-16 years old) from Wananami Remote Community School who have a passion for learning and sharing their Ngarinyin culture. They come from the communities of Dodnun, Kupungarri and Imintji, all situated along or near the Gibb River Road. They are taught and led by a passionate group of Ngarinyin elders and community leaders who share their rich Culture, Language and Histories with these students in the hope that they will continue to learn and share with future generations.
In 2021, the Wananami Dancers performed at the Mowanjum Festival for the very first time. Following their successful first performance, they have danced at many events including the KLC Rangers Forum, Wananami NAIDOC Day and a performance for campers at Manning Campground. This year, they look forward to continuing their learning journey, performing new dances and sharing their love of Ngarinyin culture with everyone.
A small town girl with big dreams to inspire and encourage people to achieve big through music.
Adele Oliver is a Singer-songwriter from Broome, Western Australia. Having spent the majority of her life in the Kimberley, her songs are heavily influenced by the rugged landscapes she calls home. Adele blends folk, alt country and acoustic blues with soothing and intimate vocals. Through her laid-back story telling style, her songs will take you on a heart-warming journey.
Adele has made a home for herself within the Broome music scene over the last two years. In 2019, playing the Saltwater Music Festival and being selected for the APRA AMCOS Women in Music mentoring program which saw her release her first single titled ‘Don’t Take My Blues Away’. In 2021, Adele released her debut EP titled ‘From the River’- a collection of songs inspired by her time living in the Fitzroy Valley.
Noonie and Lucy
Noonie Rogers from Looma holds a bottomless pit of music in her heart which she loves sharing with one and all. She plays piano and guitar and sings songs and tells stories effortlessly hour upon hour. Gospel and Country music dominate her style. Noonie sings songs in English and Mungala language and is a prolific songwriter.
Lucy has performed over the years with Noonie’s brother Stan and is delighted and excited to be collaborating with Noonie.
Natalie Davey comes from Fitzroy Crossing and her heritage is Bunuba, Walmajarri, Scottish and English. She is a content creator working with local organisations. She is creating an educators’ resource system based around the local Aboriginal seasons for Baya Gawiy, an Early childhood centre. She produces and presents a morning language program called “Danggujarra” with her father on Wangki Radio. Her creative arts project with Mangkaja Arts in developing a jewellery collection inspired by country. Natalie is dedicated to sharing the world around her and bringing people together through cultural understanding.
Stellar Moon is Monique Le Lievre, a Nyikina woman from the Kimberley. She has a Music career spanning 20 years and has now branched out as a singer-songwriter, playing at local festivals such as Mango Jammin, KIPAS and the Saltwater Festival and more recently support for Sydney based band, 'Caravana Sun'.
Stellar Moon delivers diverse songs with a flavour of soul, gospel and even pop and rock. Monique aims to inspire inner revolutions in her audience, through songs about modern day acts of rebellion such as loving yourself, healing, connecting to country, empowering ourselves and breaking free from trauma bonds and the conditions of our past and society.
Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight) is a Walmatjarri Elder, international blues and gospel singer-songwriter, teacher and mentor, human rights advocate, and political activist.
From the early days in mission gospel choirs to finding her true voice in country western music, the blues, and rock 'n' roll of the day, Olive's talent as a singer eventually led to collaborations with other artists and performers, many of whom sought her unique voice and ability to translate songs into her traditional language. In 2011, Olive Knight was invited to sing as part of Hugh Jackman's Back on Broadway production. She has also helped develop the Walmatjarri dictionary in the 1960s, has supported research on understanding, preventing and treating FASD, and continues to raise awareness about alcohol abuse.
You can find Kankawa Nagarra on Bandcamp.
Skutta Girl Indigenous Fashion Showcase
What’s a Skutta Girl?
Skutta is a familiar Kimberley Kriol word which is has its roots in the word “Skite” which in Australia means to “boast”.
Over time Skiter evolved to Skutta or Skudda so girls and boys who showed confidence in themselves and stood out from the crowd were often called “skutta bloke” or “skutta girl.”
Today the word Skutta has evolved into a positive word and used as word to encourage youth and give them confidence, build their self-esteem and to praise them.
What is the Indigenous Fashion Showcase?
The Skutta Girl Indigenous Fashion Showcase is a chance for Kimberley girls to build themselves up – to be a skutta girl – through a fun interactive photo-shoot supported by local role models.
Our Skutta Girls will model up-cycled denim featuring locally produced textiles as well as accessories created by female Aboriginal artists from across the Kimberley.
The photos will feature throughout the Strong Women Business Gathering, profiling both the artists and their enterprises. After the Gathering you will be able to see the photos at the Winun Ngari Arts Centre or the Strong Women Business Gathering website (here!).
Why? We want to invest in and create the next generation of Skutta Girls.
We want local female youth to be proud of who they are and where they come from. This works alongside their social and emotional wellbeing, building them up from the inside out.
We want local female youth to have a chance to bring out their self-worth. We believe that building confidence and a positive self-perception can lead to developing skills for a positive future.
We want to shine a light on the women who are creating wearable art across the Kimberley.
The Fashion Showcase will highlight the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business women and their locally made products. We also hope that the Fashion Showcase will show non-formal pathways to employment as well as role models working in the creative arts industry in the Kimberley Region.
2022 Skutta Girl - Photo Credit: Chris Brent Lean
Skutta Girl Artists
Skutta Girl Showcase
Jaala Ozies Hair Artist
Djugun woman Jaala Ozies began her career in Broome as a Hairdresser 30 years ago.
Ozies is currently based in Derby where she spent her early childhood and sees hairdressing as an opportunity to give back to the community and the next generation. Ozies has been operating as a hairstylist since August of 2021 after always aspiring to have a salon of her own. Ozies feels Keeping up with the trends and hair education regularly is the best way to achieve great hair styles for clients.
"One of my favorite parts of the profession is that it doesn't feel like work". "Everyday is truly different and I enjoy meeting new people and seeing clients leave the salon feeling good about themselves".
Yisah Bin Omar is a Djugun woman from the West Kimberley region of northwest Australia. Yisah also has connections to Kija(Gija), Karajarri and Nyikina country and is proud of her lineage. Growing up between Derby and Broome, Yisah was exposed to both the freshwater and saltwater lifestyles.
Throughout her early school life, art was something that brought her joy and sparked a lifelong creative journey. Upon encouragement from close friends and family Yisah has entered her works into local art and photography exhibitions which also included her award winning photograph entitled Djugun Ngunu (Saltwater Sister).
Yisah is a self taught contemporary artist and her designs capture the integral theme of the natural environment of the Kimberley Region.
Yisah's art practice includes digital art, photography, textiles in the form of block printing and creating wearable art. Her Djugun heritage creates constant inspiration and she hopes her designs can be a tool to revive Djugun language.
Today Yisah is based in Derby and is enjoying creating products for her clients through Djugun Designs.
"My Kimberley roots run deep and I want to be able to showcase this proudly and creatively through my designs."
Camilla is a proud Gooniyandi and Gija woman from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, currently living in Perth on Whadjak land.
The design of each beautiful earring you see is inspired by and celebrates my indigenous culture, country, and stories. I use a mixture of techniques and mediums and keep my palette true to what mother earth has to offer. The creation of Litiyalla keeps my passion for art alive, allows me to express my identity with a fusion of traditional meets contemporary. Growing up by the mighty Fitzroy river has allowed Camilla to immerse herself in aspects of culture and community .
Each collection shares the message of unity and pride, bringing together and empowering women of all walks of life. The greatest gift is seeing the impact my art makes on those who wear it.
Camilla works full time as a mentor for Stars Foundation . By providing holistic support , with a focus on wellbeing , for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls to achieve greatness within their academic journey.
Camilla believes " By investing in our young people, we are able to build a better future for our next generation, our youth can't be what they can't see " . Camilla enjoys giving back to community by donating time towards programs that support young woman such as Kimberley Girl and Miss NAIDOC.
Design: Boab Country
The design symbolizes the country I up in. Derby is represented by the Boab tree, mud crab and kangaroo. The Boab tree and holds a deep spiritual connection to my people, the Warrwa Tribe.
The Boab tree is part of my art practice. I believe that by representing the boab nut and its flowers it helps to bring healing qualities to the wearer or viewer, as my people believe the Boab nut to have medicinal properties – especially the tiny nut that resides within the larger casing of the Boab nut which can heal cold sicks. My many drawings and paintings have the tree represented. I also carve works onto the Boab nut itself – a popular practice for many local artists here in Derby.”
Design: Fresh Water Lily Pads & Flower Lilies
“This design or pattern are called ‘Fresh Water Lily Pads & Flower Lilies. They represent the Fresh Water where my Dreaming comes from, which is about 500-and-something kilometers out of Derby. The flower and lily are commonly found in the fresh water rivers, billabongs, creeks and crossings across the north and to the east of the Kimberley and onto the Northern Territory.”
Clay Creations by Mel
Melanie Edgar is the owner and creator of small business, Clay Creations by Mel, she is a Yawuru, Karrajarri and Ngarringin woman living in Broome.
She’d always loved creating and doing arty things but didn’t have the time due to other commitments -working full time and raising three gorgeous girls.
Until one day she YouTubed clay earrings and thought to herself why not give Polymer Clay a try. She absolutely fell in love with the never ending possibilities of creating and often found herself up at crazy hours, lost in a pile of polymer clay!
In April 2021 Mel started her Long Service Leave and had big plans to travel… but as many people know, COVID made that nearly impossible to happen. Instead she cashed her travel money in decided to follow her dream of creating her own small business. She started to show her friends and family her creations and they gave her the confidence to create “Clay Creations by Mel.” Mel says that her journey has been incredible and a huge learning curve, but she is happy and appreciative with all the support she has received. Mel is back working full time, also creating, and expanding her small business on the side and hopes to one day be able to run her small business fulltime.
“If you have passion, anything is possible! If you want it enough, you can make it happen! Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Remember that I learnt all my stuff from YOUTUBE tutorials!”