Culture, food and connection in the Kimberley

Six weeks in Broome on placement at Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation provided invaluable personal and career opportunities for Edith Cowan University Master of Nutrition and Dietetics students Amy Thomson and Kayla Moana Palmer.

Milliya Rumurra operates a residential rehabilitation service, continuing care and sobering up centre in Broome, providing culturally secure environments that support positive behavioural change for community members and their families affected by alcohol and other drugs.

Good nutrition plays an important role in maintaining health and wellbeing and supports harm reduction. As part of Community and Public Health placements, Kayla and Amy worked together to develop the Healthy Healing program by engaging with the clients through hands on education sessions. Some session themes included cooking on country, nutrition and alcohol, heal with healthy snacks, and nutrition and methamphetamine.

“Amy and Kayla quickly recognised the importance of working to their individual strengths and forming genuine relationships with staff and clients at Milliya Rumurra,” says WANADA Sector Development Coordinator Kim Ziapur. “Staff at Milliya Rumurra were keen to see the benefits of nutrition education for clients and offered guidance and input into the students’ work.”

Kayla and Amy worked closely with the clients, Milliya Rumurra’s cook and other staff to learn about people’s food preferences and to develop both a resource guide and recipe book that met nutrition needs and local tastes. Now that the student placements are complete, staff and clients can use these resources into the future.

“We’re glad to have played a part in bringing more allied health students an experience of working at a regional alcohol and other drug service,” says Kim. “The connections and exchange of knowledge have been of benefit to all.”

As part of the placement, Amy and Kayla took a cultural tour provided by Bart Pigram and enjoyed getting to know the locals while cycling through the town. Both students gained personal, and professional insight, with the placement providing an opportunity to highlight the value of connection and cultural identity in their own lives.

While in Broome, Amy and Kayla stayed at Majarlin at the Notre Dame University campus. Majarlin provides education and training, including therapeutic crisis intervention and cultural safety and awareness training, debrief opportunities, professional development, and opportunities to socialise and share their learning and skills with fellow students.

Both Kayla and Amy have secured employment in their chosen field, with Kayla accepting a six-month position at Milliya Rumurra.

WANADA sincerely thanks Notre Dame University and Majarlin for their professional, practical and financial support.

A huge thank you also to the clients and staff of Milliya Rumurra Aboriginal Corporation, to Edith Cowan University and to Kayla and Amy for ensuring the success of the placement.

Learn More

For more information about WANADA’s Student Placement Program, please contact Kim Ziapur on (08) 6557 9400 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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