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our history


It was 1988 when Gary Morris and Val March first crossed paths. Newly arrived in Kempsey, Val was volunteering at the local youth centre where Gary was working.


By June 1988, Val was manager of Home Care NSW, but was concerned the organisation was not meeting the needs of Aboriginal members of the community.  Val approached Gary for assistance. Thus began a working relationship that has endured for the past 20 years and enabled the establishment of Booroongen Djugun Limited.


In 1989 Gary Morris and Val March, along with other health and welfare workers, called a public meeting to discuss the development of an Aboriginal Aged Care Facility.


The idea for the design of the aged care facility came from the views and opinions held by the Elders.  For the Elders, the totems of fire, water, earth, and sun were seen as having strong ties to traditional life.  To meet their needs, extensive consultation has taken place at a grass roots level.  This has allowed an aged care facility to be developed that reflects the spiritual feelings connected with the traditions and customs of Aboriginal people.

BDL opened its business operations in June 1991. The first of its community-based services commenced in 1992. The College conducted its first community outreach training in 1994, and in 1997 the Corporation welcomed the Aboriginal community and Kempsey community to the official opening of BDL’s aged care facility.

Gary Morris, a Dunghutti Elder, was born at Kempsey District Hospital in 1954 and grew up on Burnt Bridge Mission. His mother is Aunty Maggie J Morris who was the patron of the Gumbayngirr language and was recognised by the United Nations for her contribution to preserving Gumbayngirr language.

Gary is the co-founder of  Booroongen Djugun Limited (BDL) (along with Val March), and the former CEO of the Organisation.

From an early age, Gary has been active politically at the grass level in Aboriginal affairs and is a strong advocate for his people. Gary is an campaigner for social change.

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