Kalumburu Strong Girls and the future

Ms Sherrie Vickery1

1KPHU, Kalumburu, Australia


Kalumburu is a remote indigenous community 596 km NW of Kununurra, and it is the most remote community of the East Kimberley region. In Kalumburu, there has been a significant history of sexual abuse and other trauma, in recent years.

Kalumburu Strong Girls was a health promotion program set up for young women in the Kalumburu community. This abstract hypothesises that these girl’s will be at a reduced risk of family and domestic violence due to their improved self- esteem , support from  peers and professionals  within the group and the knowledge of safe behaviours  and social capital. The target group was aimed at girls aged from 12 to 16 years old. The program was a locally designed program for young women, especially those who are experiencing issues including:

  • Low Self Esteem/Self Worth
  • Health issues such as sexual health, diabetes, APSGN and hygiene.
  • Trauma experienced with family and domestic violence.
  • Suicidal ideation and self-harm.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Boredom


The Kalumburu Strong Girl’s commenced in May 2016, when RAN’s at Kalumburu Clinic could see the need for intervention. There was a gap evident to clinic staff that young females had no resources available to them other than school and the clinic: it was increasingly evident that there was increased clinic presentations and crime rate of young females in Kalumburu.

The topics addressed included healthy lifestyles, personal- hygiene, nutrition, sexual health, mental health and chronic disease prevention. Increasing access to information technology is major aim of the group for this year with the development of a Facebook page and YouTube clip.

Preliminary findings from group evaluation, have shown that  by participating in the group the girl’s feel empowered by knowledge and have increase self-control  and motivation for greater decision making capacity and  developmental opportunities.




My name is Sherrie Vickery and I work as a Remote Area Nurse Specialist for Kimberley Population Health Unit, at Kalumburu Clinic. I have worked at Kalumburu Clinic since March 2016.

I have been working in nursing since 1985. I have worked in many varied settings from NT to QLD, in remote health over the years.

My qualifications include Mental Health nursing, Bachelor of Nursing and Post Graduate Certificate in Remote Rural Emergency Nursing.