Broome Circle receives $300,000 grant for new empowerment center

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A non-profit organization in Kimberley has received state funding to continue renovations of a new wellness center in Broome.

The first stage of the refurbishment of the Broome Empowerment Centre, managed by Broome Circle, which involved various works to meet structural standards, was recently completed.

Now, thanks to a $370,000 Lotterywest grant, the organization will begin bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Camera iconBalgo artist Mina Baadjo works on her new painting. Credit: Advertiser Broome/Jane Murphy

The center is intended to be used for programs run by Broome Circle, including Artists Away From Home, which provides space for Aboriginal men and women to paint in Broome.

Broome Circle chief executive Denisa Konecny ​​said the space and the opportunity to make art gave Kimberley residents a space to feel safe and connect with their culture.

“The space is really versatile…and we aspire to make the facility a really vibrant multi-purpose space that will serve everyone in Broome and beyond,” she said.

“The Artists Away From Home program is already operational. Art supports them and allows them to be close to the country.

All artwork is then returned to community art centers where it can be sold for the benefit of the community.

Broome Circle also received a $48,000 grant for an accessible community garden.

Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna presented the grant to Ms. Konecny ​​at the space on Thursday and said she was really excited about the project.

“When I got here, I could feel the vibe – all this atmosphere,” she said, pointing to the rows of tables where men and women from remote communities sat painting.

“Brome Circle’s vision for this place is something I would really like to follow in the future.

“This place is really going to be special…with all the art programs and gardening but above all, the good liyan (wellness).”

The premises were built in 1982 by the Country Women’s Association and acquired by Broome Circle in 2009.

The second stage of the project is expected to be completed by November 2023.

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