Elders village provides welcoming feel
■ Traditional dancing and kangaroo tail on the fire welcomed guests to the Ngarluma elders village in Roebourne last Friday as the facility was officially opened.
The village can house up to 18 elders, who can make use of the studio and central meeting areas such as the movie screen and fire pit.
Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation executive officer Belinda Churnside said the village was one of the most important goals for the corporation and the community.
“This has been a long journey and a major milestone for our people,” she said.
“For the elders to be pleased … and have a campfire place they can all gather at night and have yarns like they did in the good old days is really good.
“I actually want to live in it myself looking at how nice it is.”
Mrs Churnside said the village offered relief for the elders from financial hardship.
Michael Walker Senior is one of the elders looking at moving into one of the units.
“I moved away in 1983 and am finally coming back home now; I’m getting a bit long in the tooth,” he said.
“It is too flash, I don’t know if I will want to touch anything when I move into these houses.
“It’s a lot different to what Homes West used to give us.”
Pilbara MLA Brendon Grylls did the ceremonial honour of cutting the ribbon alongside Ngarluma elders Pansy Sambo and David Walker.
Mr Grylls said the project highlighted how much hard work Aboriginal corporations had put in to improve the Roebourne community.
“This project wraps love and support around the old people,” he said.
A highlight of the opening ceremony for many was the traditional dance by Ngarluma men and boys.
Ngarluma elder Pansy Sambo even got caught up in the moment and got up to join them briefly as the group danced.
Adrian Guiness and Patrick Churnside dance
at the opening of the Ngarluma elders
Ngarluma boys and men follow Patrick Churnside in some traditional dancing at the opening ceremony.
Peter Stevens and Jamaine and Patrick Churnside dance at the opening of the Ngarluma elders village.
Jerome Wachter, 10, follows Patrick Churnside in a dance to open the Ngarluma elders village.