23/05/2017 - 14:17

Pilbara tourism hub for indigenous group

23/05/2017 - 14:17

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Indigenous employment group Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation is continuing its push into hospitality and tourism, unveiling plans to develop a tourism hub at Cossack, a historic ghost town located around 15 kilometres from Roebourne.

Pilbara tourism hub for indigenous group
In its heyday, Cossack was a thriving town of thousands seeking fortunes in the Pilbara gold rush.

Indigenous employment group Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation is continuing its push into hospitality and tourism, unveiling plans to develop a tourism hub at Cossack, a historic ghost town located around 15 kilometres from Roebourne.

NYFL announced today that it had been selected by the City of Karratha to manage and promote the historic Cossack townsite, which was the first port on the west Pilbara coast when it was established in 1872.

The entire town is listed on the National Trust and is considered to be one of the region’s top fishing locations.

NYFL is planning to introduce a bed and breakfast operation in Cossack, offer ‘Gaol Stays’ at the town’s restored Police Barracks, while development of a campsite to cater for caravans and campers will be investigated.

Other tourism initiatives will include cultural tours, in collaboration with award-winning operator Ngurrangga Tours, as well as other art and cultural events.

NYFL will also take over operation of a tourist kiosk at Cossack, with plans to expand it to include a retail operation with Cossack-specific souvenirs.

NYFL chief executive Bruce Jorgensen said the organisation was looking forward to breathing new life into the historic town.

“To have an Aboriginal organisation in charge of a place that is both culturally and spiritually important and connected to our people, but also of major historical significance to the state of Western Australia and white settlement, is an incredible achievement,” he said.

“It gives us the scope to tell the stories on our terms, explore and recognise the atrocities of te past, but also prove that reconciliation is the way of the future and celebrate that fact.”

Mr Jorgensen said the organisation had been consciously seeking to diversify away from the resources sector and develop new opportunities, with the Cossack initiative fitting perfectly into that strategy.

“From creating work and training for our gardening and cleaning crews, maintenance and upkeep work, to the development of tourism-related businesses in the area, creating hospitality and tourism jobs, it’s a contract that we believe will be beneficial in developing the region’s tourism potential and providing opportunities for locals,” he said.

“The contract fits perfectly with our drive toward hospitality and tourism, both mainstream and cultural, and the opportunities here for events, festivals and major income-producing activities is nothing short of awesome.” 

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