Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

Waltja Directors have put Waltja savings into support for culture activities on each community. Areyonga ladies asked for a camp-out for the elders. They wanted to celebrate the old people, and to help them to teach young people about culture. Iria visited Areyonga to talk with elders and to plan the camp-out.

In September Waltja workers Iria and Kate and Raewyn took 18 elders and carers out to a beautiful camp next to the riverbed. We camped for two nights, sleeping under the stars. We had lots of visitors, including a curious dingo!

Young students from Christ Church School in Melbourne camped close by. They sang songs for the ladies, and then the ladies taught them songs in language. The students learned how to cook roo tails.

The next day the Areyonga ladies took the students to ‘the Gap’. Daphne Puntjina told stories about long ago when families travelled through the Gap to Areyonga from the AP lands by foot and on horses, camels and donkeys.

We went hunting for Maku (witchetty grub). Everyone worked hard to get that tjapa. Itjuwali was the champion – she got a big mob!

On the last morning all the ladies held a meeting. They thought about the Waltja Annual General Meeting coming up in November. They decided to write to the Prime Minister about the new funding for domestic violence programs.

Iria made lots of short films, with Daphne, Judy and Yupia telling stories about the country and their life in Areyonga in the old times.

Everybody had a happy time at the camp-out. Elders said that they had a good rest in a beautiful place away from community. Waltja gave presents of blankets and pannikins to all the elders, even to the old men who couldn’t come on the camp-out.