Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

Sept 2014

mediation3Mediation is a way to solve conflict, through listening to both sides and helping people on both sides to understand each other and respect each other. It is good just for one or two people, or for families or even for whole communities if there is teasing or fighting.

In Yuendumu the Mediation and Justice Committee has worked hard for a long time to show families how to come together for peace. Now Yuendumu Committee has made the Warlpiri Mediation Manual. The Manual shows the right way to do mediation.

Ngurra nyinajaku jintangka: coming together as one for peace.

Waltja Directors have been learning about mediation with Linx and Maureen from the NT Community Justice Centre. The first workshop was in October 2013 in Alice Springs and the second workshop was in May at Ross River this year.

Enid and Wendy told the story of the Yuendumu Mediation and Justice Committee. Now Yuendumu is a peaceful place for all the families, and the Committee acts straight away to stop little problems becoming big problems.

In the workshops we did lots of role plays and talking about how to resolve conflict. Annette Wilyuka, Enid Gallagher, April Martin, Sharon Scrutton and Erin Turner were in the role play at Ross River about young people trashing the rec hall. The young girls, the parents and the sports and rec worker all needed to talk and listen to each other and find a new way that didn’t make conflict.

Irene Nangala talked about the mediation training: “Mediation natjarra yara. Mediation panya watjani pika puntu ngananyi ngurrangka tjintungka, murangka mungarrtji.

Understanding about mediation was really good for us. Mediators can stand between both sides of fighting or argument”

Waltja ladies talked with Linx and Maureen about problems like fighting, arguments, nasty gossip and teasing that keeps on going: people stay enemies and they are not talking or being friendly, sometimes for 2 or 3 years. Arguments in the morning, night, sunset. We have a lot of problems in other communities. Mediation trainers should go out to different communities.

The Mediation training for Directors was funded by the Department of the Chief Minister through a Regional Economic Development Fund grant.