Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation (Waltja) is a community-based organisation, working with Aboriginal families in remote Central Australian Communities.
Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi is Luritja language, meaning “families, for a big lot/everybody, really good together” and the organisation aims to be “doing good work with families”.
Waltja’s agenda is driven by a Board of Directors who are all Aboriginal women, with the aim of improving outcomes for families. Collectively women want to share their histories, stories and visions across the Central Desert communities to create one voice for the good of all.
The foundation for Waltja’s corporate philosophy is the leadership of strong Aboriginal women, a focus on families, and support for community self-management and self-determination and improved services on communities.
Since 1997, Waltja has survived and thrived as an independent non government organisation, first as an incorporated association and then as an Aboriginal Corporation, successfully generating income through competitive tenders with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, through philanthropic grants and through our own fundraising activities, including an art-based social enterprise Tjukurrpa Tjutangku.
Waltja’s service area is 900,000 square kilometres with an estimated population of 13,000.
Since it began Waltja has operated using a set of principles which are recognised by our members, remote community people and the organisations and agencies we work with. These principles and Waltja’s structure combine to give Waltja an overall approach which is unique.
Punata Stockman from Mt Leibig created Waltja’s logo in 1997. The three circles represent communities, Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi and service providers respectively. The feet depict Waltja workers travelling between communities and service providers, sharing information and addressing gaps in service delivery through referral, training, community development and advocacy.
Helping people know
Better understanding, ideas and information about remote communities, their needs and what to do about these for the communities themselves, service providers and government.
Assisting communities to talk about their needs and getting them to meet. Helping services with feedback about how they are working. Working with communities to collect and organise information. Recording and writing about things that work well. Collecting and developing information on Women’s centres. Keeping everyone well informed. Publishing and printing of the “Family News”.
Everyone working and deciding together. Remote communities participating more in decision making that effects their lives.
Creating opportunities for everyone to talk, plan and work together. Supporting services to be well resourced to do their work. Supporting communities to be part of planning and decision making. Helping communities to work together on common needs. Assisting communities with travel arrangements. Promoting and delivering culturally appropriate training.
Good ways to do things
To develop models of “best practice”. Waltja is respected as a good place to work.
Creating employment for Aboriginal people in communities. Documenting projects that have worked well, so others can learn. Supporting communities to run their own workshops and meetings. Increasing community control of local services. Promoting special achievements by communities and their members. Keeping Waltja a strong service.
New ways to do things
Remote communities and service providers working in new and different ways.
Developing information on services to help with planning and decision making. Developing new services and programs. Supporting communities to work with service providers and agencies. Advocating on behalf of communities. Developing guidelines for working with remote communites.
Better help for families
Remote communities and service providers working better.
Providing information about services for remote communities. Supporting services to consult with remote communities. Facilitating workshops for communities to identitfy their own needs. Assisting communities to communicate with their own agencies. Building community strengths with the recognition of current skills and experience. Helping to identify skills needed and organising training. Developing training plans and securing funding. Organising training for Aboriginal workers. Working with Aboriginal facilitators and interpreters. Waltja Committee and staff managing and working well.