Women in the West

“The West Kimberley women’s fishing course is something that I (Sara) have wanted to do (through the Mary Island Fishing Club) for a long time.  There are so many women out there that go fishing and camping with their partners and families and do not have the ability or confidence to really “do it for themselves.’ As a result they tend to gravitate to the stereotypical women role of organising the food, looking after the kids and just winding in a fish and more often than not reliant on the “men” to help them all the time to facilitate the act of fishing.” Sara Hennessy, Mary Island Fishing Club.

“We had been proposing to run a series of women’s fishing clinics for quite some time and were getting more and more queries from local women asking WHEN Are we going to do it!!!”

“In 2017 we decided to apply for a grant through the Recfishwest Community Grants Program to help with the funding required to organise, promote and produce the program. We were delighted to hear we were successful in our application and immediately began summarising and finalising the program.” Sara Hennessy, Mary Island Fishing Club.

The program began in March 2018 and over 10 weeks, the highly enthusiastic women undertook a well-planned training program enabling them to build fishing networks, confidence, and interact with other women in the region whilst building the knowledge and skills to be competent in many fishing related areas. The program (with the help from local community organisations) involved:

  • Basic fisheries rules and licencing details session
  • Places to fish around Derby and local catch information
  • Knots, rigs and tackle information and demonstrations
  • Casting and learning to throw a net
  • Trailer talk (how to back a trailer, launch and retrieving), practical session at Derby port
  • Getting to know your tackle – how to look after your reels, basic reel servicing
  • Basic boat mechanics – trouble shotting simple mechanical issues
  • How to fillet fish
  • Recreational Skippers Ticket

The West Kimberley Women’s Fishing Clinics (WKWFC) were a resounding success overall.  Over 10 weeks, multiple aspects of the key skills needed to successfully fish & boat were covered.

”47 women signed up for the sessions, this was more than double what we had expected or budgeted for!” Sara Hennessy, Mary Island Fishing Club.

Mary Island Fishing Club would like to thank the Fisheries department for their support who provided free info/kits to all participants and also Cone Bay Barra farm who

donated fish for the filleting/processing catch sessions.

All in all the participants that attended the numerous sessions achieved great outcomes and walked away with an entire new skill set and some great friendships.


Round 8 of the Community Grants are opening soon! Stay up to date via our monthly broadcast, fishing reports, Website and social media channels.