Written Feb 1994, Updated April 2014.
The Larrakia locality Gurambai (Rapid Creek) is both a suburban region and a unique urban-based watershed and creek system within the city of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Family Nexus (refer other background notes), in association with intercultural people of the Rapid Creek Community, are developing (1994) a micro-project to nurture well-being socio-emotionally, economically and environmentally.
This initiative is drawing upon the constructive cultural diversity of the community for expansion of productive economic opportunities afforded by Darwin’s proximity to East Asia. Grassroots and long-grass family action is exploring the resolution of socio-emotional issues like domestic violence, suicide, substance abuse and keeping family members out of criminal justice and mental institutions. As well, the aim is to skill families in well-being areas such as relational mediating, intercultural healing action and developing grassroots policy based on consensually evaluated and validated community action (refer other file notes on these themes). Ideas are exploring Aboriginal and multicultural healing cultural arts action and festivals. Action is weaving together linked themes.
This bottom-up project extends to involving the local community in taking care of all aspects of the Rapid Creek catchment area. The Project is resonant with the concept of Integrated Local Area Planning (refer Social Strategies for the Northern Territory - A Strategic Workshop, April 1993: Office of Northern Development, GPO Box 4075, Darwin 0801 NT.). Preliminary explorings are beginning with long-grass aboriginal bodies and communities, local government, Greening Australia, as well as religious, welfare, health, artistic, multicultural and educational groups.
Rapid Creek is one of the few (and perhaps the only) intact urban-based watershed system left in Australia. It embraces semi arid dry lands, paperbark communities, eucalyptus woodlands, pandanus and grasslands, monsoon rainforest, as well as wetlands and mangroves.
Paperbark and pandanus beside Rapid Creek
The Rapid Creek catchment area provides extensive habitat for local flora and fauna.
Rapid Creek Mangroves – Fish spawning environment
The local community also uses Rapid Creek as a beautiful leisure environment.
Rapid Creek flood 2008
Many parallel projects are coming together. They include practical rehabilitation of flora and fauna by the Friends of Rapid Creek and active planning by the Darwin City Council and Greening Australia. The more human nurturing family oriented activities are focused around the Rapid Creek Water Gardens and nearby Village shopping centre.
This is where the oldest market in Darwin is held in the car park and walkways on Sunday.
The market has a strong intercultural tradition with colourful stalls being run by people from many ethnic/cultural backgrounds including aboriginals and people from Papua New Guinea and other Asian Pacific
and European countries.
A number of grassroots nurturing well-being groups are being attracted to operate from this centre.
All of the above action is developing a strong sense of community. It is villaging within the city.
In helping to remove impediments to social, environmental and economic wellbeing in Darwin, the Rapid Creek Village Project is developing a micromodel perhaps with global applicability and with specific relevance in developing Darwin as Australia's northern link to East Asia.