September, 30 2012
Roebourne
Ketaki Sheth
Photography

Marshall

 

I was born on a station called Wyloo, at a windmill, Mirdawandi, I think it’s about 140 miles south east of Onslow. We set up Mingulltharndo or Five Mile community with some of our family as a place to shelter and provide refuge to our people in town, away from alcohol and violence. We didn’t actually choose this spot, we looked at several spots, we got the authorization for this particular place, way back about 21 years ago. We house families that are in need, which is short term in most circumstances; the numbers vary from 40 to 80.

We set up a nursery growing native plants as part of the plan to try and bring in a small amount of income to assist the community costs. The nursery comes under Pilbara Indigenous Enterprises, and it’s been operating for about three years now, we’re just starting to experience larger orders from companies to rehabilitate trees.

Most of the people living on Five Mile work in the Roebourne community, they leave from around 8.30am, which is when school starts. I work for my brother four days a week, so I’m part time away from the community, but I’m always flat out working on maintenances or other projects, that we’ve held onto trying to finish.

The people living at Five Mile work in town, Beth my wife, is involved with the Roebourne Community Resource Centre, working on everything that needs to be supported in Roebourne community. Recently, they had Are you ok day?, working with some young people that talked about suicides. The numbers were going up in 2012, so we had this event that took place in the basketball court and the Roebourne school oval, to get information out about how to get assistance, if you’re at risk of suicide.

Five Mile is quiet, there is no noise, no violence, everyone respects our conditions about alcohol and never in 21 years have there been alcohol or drugs. We’ve never had any problems. Our rule is not to stop anyone who comes here drunk but ask them to be quiet and restful.

 

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