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Warmun is a large Aboriginal community in the Kimberley region in the northeastern part of Western Australia. People in Warmun are mainly from the Gija language group.
Warmun community is well known for its vibrant art movement and for a number of famous Aboriginal artists including Rover Thomas, Queenie McKenzie, Rusty Peters and Lena Nyadbi, whose paintings hang in galleries all over the world.
The community is less well known for the devastating health and social problems that affect many of its families. These include high rates of depression, substance abuse, violence, youth suicide, chronic disease, limited employment opportunities and poverty.
Elders in Warmun community see traditional culture as a powerful way to help deal with these problems. They also consider it vital to focus on the younger generation. As a result, the Elders are active in the development and management of projects that aim to teach young people important traditional cultural activities.
Ground Up Community Support Network is a registered charity that has been providing financial assistance for these projects.
One key project has involved teaching young people multimedia skills to record traditional Gija stories and activities as told to them by their Elders. Another project is a weekly language teaching and maintenance program enabling Elders to pass their knowledge of Gija language to their younger family and community members.