More than 1,000 Aboriginal people make up the Dambimangari community. Although dislocated from traditional country by government policy and history, the people have clear sense of identity and tradition. The Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation (DAC), chaired by Francis Woolagoodja works for the traditional owners to help manage the Dambimangari Determination Area.
As part of the corporation’s community support, Aboriginal leaders and social workers are implementing programs to deal with the tragedy of youth suicide. Other projects include:
Subsidised medical and health services
Employment and training initiatives
Education support and collaboration with tertiary education institutes
Payment of social benefits and
Funding for hardship relief
The Corporation is committed to self-determination for its members. One of the key objectives of the group’s work is the development of a new generation of leaders to preserve their language and culture and build a successful future for their families and community.
As part of this commitment, the Dambimangari Future Generations project involved working with working with old people and researchers to prepare language materials, cultural heritage maps, data bases, family trees and the production of a book about Dambimangari history, country and culture. The four-year project was seen as a key to preserving heritage and identity and helping young people understand their country and ancestry.
Dambimangari people are part of a wider community group sometimes called the Wandjina Woongudd community which includes Wunambal, Gaambera, Ngarinyin and other groups. There were three native title determinations to cover all this country – the Wanjina Wunggurr Dambimangari, the Wanjina Wunggurr Willingin and the Wanjina Wunggurr Uunguu Determinations. The Dambimangari Determination area is just part of this larger cultural community in the West Kimberley from the sea inland to the pastoral country of Ngarinyin Traditional Owners.