Welcome to Edition 61,

Winter is nearly over and although we all love a break from the heat it is also a hard time for our homeless and hundreds of people on low incomes. Keeping warm is a huge challenge and also raises the costs of living. Waltja’s emergency relief, aged and disability, youth and mental health programs have all been under pressure but we have managed to meet most of the need. This has also been due to the generosity of our Director’s using Waltja savings to help out in hard times.

Waltja has successfully secured funding to continue working with our remote communities but the Money Management program was defunded nationally.

This was a vital information and support program for our area as people struggle with financial literacy, scammers, key cards that don’t work or are stolen and too many commitments on available funds. We are contacted every day at Waltja for this type of advocacy and help.

Waltja has some new programs around strengthening communities against domestic violence, several cultural programs, resource development and for social media. We are also starting a business and marketing plan for our new premises, a rural property close to town. We are getting the place ready for our members to share culture and knowledge, to hold workshops and special events and to work together. Last month we had 50 people there for a week for the Director’s meeting and everyone enjoyed the space. We also said goodbye to Kate Lawrence, a valued staff member who was at Waltja for a long time. Kate will be missed but we all wish her well for her retirement and on her travels.

This September we are excited to be hosting an Aged and Disability Festival in partnership with Life Without Barriers. They have done an amazing job raising funds for this event. We will be bringing in clients and their carers from across the central desert region to celebrate life and to learn together. People will be joining us from Alice Springs and interstate and there will be a packed program of activities. We will be contacting you soon to see if you will be attending. The event will be held 90 kilometers east of Alice at the Ross River campgrounds.

Thank you for keeping Waltja strong and for looking after the staff. Please send us your stories so we can share them in the Family News.

See you soon! Sharijn

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