The WA Parks Foundation Board’s newest member, Marissa Verma brings a wealth of experience to this role, particularly in the area of community engagement and delivery of cultural education programs.
Her career pathway reflects an enduring passion to share her knowledge of the rich culture of the Whadjuk Noongar people – history, values and traditions.
In areas such as Indigenous heritage, natural resource management and community development she has held roles variously in local and State Government agencies, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and Greening Australia WA.
Marissa established her well-regarded and successful cultural tourism business, Bindi Bindi (means butterfly) Dreaming in 2000. Through this, she offers a range of Noongar cultural experiences and learning journeys, including bush tucker walks, out on country trips, a catering service that uses traditional herbs, spices and other ingredients, a women’s cultural workshop and an education program for school students.
Marissa has a strong record of advocacy for Aboriginal people in relation to social, economic and employment issues, forming partnerships with interested stakeholders, working within the community and facilitating cultural activities such as Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week Celebrations.
Bindi Bindi won the NAIDOC Business of the Year Category in Perth in 2017.
“This recognition has resulted in many corporate organisations engaging Bindi Bindi’s services for cultural learning experiences and team building,” Marissa said.
“In a partnership launched late last year between Bindi Bindi and another business, Tuckerbush, we offer our Bush Tucker program to schools interested in learning about this aspect of Aboriginal culture and establishing bush tucker gardens. The program is in demand, with over 100 requests from metro schools.”
📷: Marissa Verma at the 2017 Perth NAIDOC Awards