Spotlight on Wunan Staff – David Cox
27 June 2013
“My passion is to help my people in any way I can, so that they can have a better life. I love my people and have great pride in the work that I’m doing, particularly knowing that I have strong support from my colleagues. My other passions include music and art, concentrating mostly on sculpture. I am currently helping to design some of the Wunan plates for the East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievement Awards, which are being held in September.”
David Cox joined Wunan as the Community Liaison Officer for Living Change based in Halls Creek on 1 March 2013. David is originally from Broome. His father grew up on Nyul Nyul mission (as it was known in those days) at Beagle Bay, and his grandfather on his father’s side was a member of the Stolen Generation, taken away from Noonkanbah. David’s mother is also Nyul Nyul, though she was born and grew up in Lombadina. There were twelve children in David’s family but some have now passed and only five remain. With a surname like Cox, David has family connections throughout the Kimberley.
David went to primary school at St Mary’s College in Broome and high school at Trinity College in Perth, where he won a singing scholarship and was part of the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir! Thirty-seven years ago, he arrived in Wyndham and married Liz Trust. Together, they had five children, and now have eight grandchildren and counting.
David has had a diverse career, having worked at the Wyndham meat works, for the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley and with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health organisations. David worked for OVAHS for many years in community health as a qualified Aboriginal health worker, before joining the Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service as an Indigenous mental health worker. Prior to coming to Wunan, David worked at Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation for four years as a counsellor and educator. In that role, David ran education programs on anger management, family violence, alcohol and other drugs, and parenting.
David says his new role has been exciting, though it’s had its challenges. One strong positive is that David’s been working with Doreen Hart, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from Cape York, Queensland, where the Family Responsibilities Commission (FRC) has operated since 2008. Doreen’s experience with the FRC has been invaluable in helping to explain how Living Change would work in Halls Creek.
“Going out into the community and promoting Living Change has been a blessing. I get to know the people and they can see things are happening. I also get to talk with the different agencies, which are very supportive of Living Change.”